The encounter with time, which we refer to as temporality, shapes our very sense of being in the world. Some writers (Proust) put the accent on the past tense; others put it on the future (Heidegger); and still others, the present (Gertrude Stein). In this program, we will consider the encounter with temporality as explored in poetics, philosophy, and critical theory alongside various experiments with rhythm, duration, and speed through time-based arts like film and photography.
We will study texts to raise pertinent questions about our sense of being, belonging, and lived experience. How do words and images navigate time differently? What do different conceptions of time reveal about our sense of memory, nostalgia, or futurity? What’s in the impulse to slow things down, or to speed things forward? How do different languages account for time, and how might they translate from one to the other, as well as from word to image and back again? Special emphasis will be placed on critical conceptions of “slow duration” as a turning point in modernist expression. We will read and discuss works by Walter Benjamin, Paul Virilio, Andre Bazin, Fredric Jameson, Johannes Fabian, and Gilles Deleuze, among others. We will reflect on these theories through the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Robert Bresson, Chantal Ackerman, Abbas Kiarostami, and Zhangke Jia. Longer readings will include Proust's Recollections of Things Past , Gertrude Stein, and Hannah Arendt.
Students continuing into the spring quarter of the program will have the opportunity to pursue independent creative projects as part of their work, building on and deepening their reading and development from the fall as we look more closely at the issues. This program is well suited for students interested in poetics, film, visual arts, photography, critical theory, and aesthetics. No prior knowledge of these disciplines and mediums is required.
Course Reference Numbers
aesthetics, literature, media arts, philosophy and writing