Seminar Syllabus

236: Literature, Technology, Mass Creativity

also see separate course description

Christopher Newfield

Tuesdays 6:00
PM – 8:50 PM SH 2714 Fall 2011

1. Sept 27 Literature, Technology, and the Innovation Crisis

Introduction to course. The storyline as such. Criticism and creation. Current condition of the academic humanities and of literary and cultural studies (LCS). The premise of our unnecessary limits.

Why “mass”? What are our key contributions to current debates? Each participant will introduce and discuss their main academic project and least one article and trend in their home discipline that they consider to be important. Review and group construction of the final syllabus. Mapping our work-sharing.

New Italian Epic”

Andrew Bacevich, The Limits of Power (CN on US macroculture today)



2. Oct 04 Fates of Critics and Creatives

Bolaño, 2666 Book 1, The Part about the Critics

Egan, Visit from the Goon Squad, chs 2, 5, 7, 9, 11

Sennett, The Craftsman, Prologue, Chs 1,2,9,10


3. Oct 11 Innovation as Creative Desctruction

Robinson, Red Mars, books 1-4

Schumpeter, Part 2, Can Capitalism Survive?



4. Oct18 Innovation as Colonization

Robinson, Red Mars, books 5-8

Bolaño, 2666 Book 2, The Part about Amalfitano

Laird, Solar Energy, Technology Policy,and Institutional Values (CN & ZH)



5. Oct 25 Creation and Capability

Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Books 1-2

Nussbaum, Creating Capabilities, chapters 2, 4, 8



6. Nov 01 Writing, Creativity, Internet

Bolaño, 2666, Book 3, The Part about Fate

Murakami, Wind-Up (cont)

Gauntlett, Making is Connecting, chs 1-4; Jaron Lanier(CN)



7. Nov 08 NO CLASS

finish Murakami



8. Nov 15 Creativity in Catastrophic Societies

Bolaño, 2666, Book 4, The Part about the Crimes

Sorokin, Day of the Oprichnik

Vaughn, Diane, The Challenger Launch Decision (CN)



9. Nov 22 Literature and Innovation Theory as Such

Whitehead, The Intuitionist



10. Nov 29 Unidentified Narrative Objects

De Lillo,Falling Man

Bolaño, 2666, Book 5, The Part about Archimboldi


11. Dec 6 Imagining Alternative Futures




1. Articulation and development of personal academic project

2. Articulation and development of relation between the personal academic project and this course.

3. Weekly reporting, mostly minor, two major

4. Final writing project – criticism or epic




Banks, Iain M., Excession (A Culture Novel) (Orbit, 1996). 185723-3948

Bolano, Roberto, 2666 (Picador, 2009) 0312429218

Delillo, Don, Falling Man (Scribner’s 2007) 1416546023

Egan, Jennifer, A Visit from the Goon Squad (Anchor, 2011) 0307477477

Murakami, Harari, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Vintage, 1998) 0679775430

Robinson, Kim Stanley Red Mars (Spectra, 1993) 0553560732

Sorokin, Vladimir, Day of the Oprichnik (FS&G, 2011) 0374134754

Whitehead, Colin, The Intuitionist (Anchor, 2000), 0385493000



Gauntlett, David, Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (Polity, 2011) 0745650029

Laird, Frank N., Solar Energy, Technology Policy, and Institutional Values (2001: Cambridge UP, 2006) 0521034296

Nussbaum, Martha, Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach (Harvard UP, 0674050549

Schumpeter, Joseph, Capitalism, Socialism, Democracy (1947; Harper 2008) 0061561610

Sennett, Richard, The Craftsman (Yale UP, 2009) 0300151190

Vaughn, Diane, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA (Chicago, 1997) 0226851761


Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.