Day to Day Calendar
August 28, 2006 

Class introduction.  Light Show.  Surprises.  Nonsense.  Music.  Shakespeare. Seduction. Hallucination. Rolling of eyes. Ghost of Robert Frost cameo.  More to come.

File under: Literature | Literary Theory | Comparative Literature | Performance Art

yellow wallpaper playWednesday 
August 30, 2006

First Assignment--walk into class having read ALL of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's THE YELLOW WALLPAPER; if you have read it before, READ IT AGAIN. DO NOT, I REPEAT, do not read any online guides to the story, literary criticism, cliff's notes, etc.  Said crutches are not necessary for students with healthy growing brains in their heads!  As you read, try to enter into the mind of the characters in the story; that is, allow their odd uncanny thoughts to "seduce" or lead you astray.  If you have the time, read the short story (it is SUPER short) twice: the first time, put yourself inside the head of the main female character; the next, do the same but this time as her insipid husband.  Have MORE time? Read it a third time and pretend you are the women in the walls!  Come to class ready to discuss Gilman's amazing "ghost" tale.  Have EVEN more time??????? go to The Hallucination Zoo and print out and read the Jaime Hernandez short story that utterly relates to Gilman's story!

File under: The Short Story | American Literature | Gender Theory | Feminism | Psychoanalysis

September 4, 2006

NO CLASS--SDSU Celebration of Labor Day!

File under: pleasure

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

What is comedy?  Why do we create fictions that make us laugh?  Ironic as it might seem, it falls to Literature to survey those aspects of life that the general public finds unseemly or untoward.  In Comedy then, that fine wing of the literary, we are accustomed then to run into some of the more fully AND vulgar domains of Literature proper; for class today we will Screen of Seinfeld "The Contest" episode.  In addition, walk into the seminar room already having carefully printed and read Mark Twain's  SOME THOUGHTS ON THE SCIENCE OF ONANISM and, somewhat optional (in truth, students who hope to get an A-level grade will treat this as a requirement!!! take that as a hint!), classic, literary, AND VULGAR, Geoffrey Chaucer's THE REEVE'S TALE, from THE CANTERBURY TALES.

FILE UNDER: Comedy, American Literature, Media Studies, Television, Satire, Non-Fiction, Vulgarity, the Grotesque, the Absurd.

103 of mice and menMonday
September 11, 2006

The words are so simple.  So plain and unadorned and yet utterly powerful, silently pregnant with a resonant power--a power to render the complex web of peoples and histories that is California. This is the world of John Steinbeck, the magificently real hallucination that bookis OF MICE AND MEN.  Enter our chamber of Seduction, room 201 of the Arts and Letters Building having read to page 83 in Steinbeck's novel.  This book is almost always taught to high school students which CAN be a good thing; however, many of the nuances of the novel are lost on younger readers. parisBe sure to not ape your Cro-Magnon colleagues who will walk into class only having consulted Cliffs' Notes or other banal, pedestrian online literary guides--the only way to fall under the control of Steinbeck's seductive hallucination is to enter into the words of this deceptively simple novel. An incredible and FREE online resource for Steinbeck is located here at the Paris Review.

FILE UNDER: American Studies, Cultural Studies, American Literature, Tragedy, The Novel.

john againjohnWednesday
September 13, 2006

Today's assignment is quite simple--enter the auditorium having FINISHED John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN; brief in-class writing assignment a strong possibility

FILE UNDER: American Studies, Cultural Studies, American Literature, Tragedy, The Novel.

September 18, 2006

Graphic Narrative, Satire, Tragedy, American Cultural Studies, Comic Book Culture, Science Fiction and 21st Century Anomie are the orders of the day as we plunge into the illustrated, illustrating imagination of Dan Clowes and EIGHTBALL #23, one of your required readings for the semester available at the Aztec Shops Bookstore and elsewhere.  Take the time to read this story AT LEAST twice: the first time as you would any comic book (those of you who grew up reading comic books and comics, look for places where Clowes  pays homage to an American tradition of the comic book superhero while also 

simultaneously tweaking/supplementing/screwing with that tradition); the second time you "read" or screen it, IGNORE the words and try to parse, that is, to decipher, the secret, silent counter narrative that unfolds without words.  21st century graphic narrative asks that you take everything you know about film, everything you know about reading, and all you know about art and art history and to apply them at once to the project that dances in front of your eyes.  ALSO pp7-14, and pp107-110--read the two ROCKET RHODES sci-fi shorts by Jaime Hernandez in your LOVE AND ROCKETS anthology, DUCK FEET.  Authored 20 years earlier than Clowes, the Hernandez Brother's work clearly anticipates the marriage of sci-fi, humor, and edgy drama clearly at play in Clowes's work. Look for differences and similarities between the work of Clowes and Hernandez.

FILE UNDER: Graphic Narrative, Satire, Tragedy, American Cultural Studies, Science Fiction, Comic Book Culture,  21st Century Anomie, Religious Studies, Mythology
September 20, 2006

File Under: Cinema, Film Theory, Cultural Studies, Experimental Film, Science Fiction, Animation, Utopia/Dystopia, Psychoanalysis, Satire 

Experimental Film and Literature Day; you will walk into our state of the art amphitheatre to screen both CSODA POK, AN EYE FOR ANNAI and LA JETTE.  Each in their own way critiques and advances the notion of a Seductive Hallucination--where PANOPTIC's CSODA POK imagines the dystopia of a fictional future where we are chained to the STATE visually, Jonathan Klassen and Dan Rodrigues make the time to author an allegory on the psyche, loneliness, ineptitude, disfigurement, and solace. 

Lastly, their cinematic grandfather, Chris Marker posits a dark, black and white, world of paralysis in his infamous LA JETEE a bizarre, hybrid, experimental film that fuses still photography with motion pictures--use the link above for background info on Marker's work.

File Under: Cinema, Film Theory, Cultural Studies, Experimental Film, Science Fiction, Animation, Utopia/Dystopia, Psychoanalysis, Satire 

To complement your screenings for today, you are urged BUT NOT REQUIRED to read Walter Benjamin's WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF MECHANICAL REPRODUCTION.

Monday | September 25

We continue in a cinematic vein with one of the centerpiece pieces of literature from our dazzling semester of tasty treats: Darren Aronofsky's provocative opus REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.  The key to this literary piece of cinema, this cinematic morsel of literature, is Aronofky's gifted eye, or better, his twisted eye. 

Not content to merely portray addiction, his film makes us live through it visually.  Like all good cinema, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM makes us watch as we become, become as we watch--what we become, in a striking metamorphosis, is both disturbing and profound.  A seductive hallucination of the first order, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM is a startling addition to our course lineup.   While we are screening film in the big house, take this week to finish reading Jaime Hernandez's and Gilbert Hernandez's DUCK FEET.  Consider the similarities and differences between the visions of these two Southern California vatos locos from Agoura, CA and Aronofsky, a clever fellow from Brooklyn, NY.  Also, a last minute addition to your REQUIRED READING, print out and carefully read JORGE LUIS BORGES's "THE CIRCULAR RUINS."  Borges's eerie tale may well allow us to forge a bridge between Chris Marker, Jaime Hernandez, Darren Aronofsky, Gilbert Hernandez and Darren Aronofsky.

File under: Cinema, Film Theory, Seductiion, Hallucinations, Narcotics, Addiction

Wednesday | September 27

We complete our screening of Aronofsky's meditation on a very American addiction. Complete your reading of DUCK FEET.  Enter the room able to talk about one of the Hernandez short stories that best overlaps with elements of Aronofky's movie! 


aronofskyhernMonday | October 2, 2006

Open class discussion on the work of Aronofsky and the Brother's Hernandez with Borges as well. Be sure to be able to talk about the one or two short stories by either Hernandez Brother, Jaime OR Gilbert, that you feel BEST articulates the contours of what we are calling the seductive hallucination.

File under: Cinema, Film Theory, Seductiion, Hallucinations, Narcotics, Addiction, Queer Theory, Latin American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Gender Studies, American Literarue, Comic Books, Pop Culture, Cultural Studies.
Wednesday | October 4, 2006

The image of literature day!  Bring your copy of Val Clark's THE PARISIAN CAFE to class today; in addition, bring a XEROXED COPY of ONE OR TWO  pages that embody, for YOU, one or more of the major themes we are grappling with this semester.   Our discussion will focus on an abstract premise: THE SPACE OF LITERATURE.  But we will strive to make our discussion anything but abstact.  Some questions to think about as you "read" or "screen" this book include: What is literature?  What does literature do that other cultural artifacts do not?  What's up with the cafes, bars, bistros, etc--how can literature, that most private of achievements of solitary genius artists be also, at once, a production that is social, public, and performed. Other things to think about as you consume this book? Has the shape of the literary, the dynamics of literature changed since you started seductively hallucinating?  Note: the copy of this book in the Campus Bookstore is as cheap as you are going to find this volume!

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READING: print out and carefully read OZYMANDIAS by Percy Bysshe Shelley; if you have trouble viewing or printing it, use the one now showcased in the ZOO!

Monday | October 9, 2006

Working through our Aronofsky and Hernandez hangovers, we plunge this week into the realm of the FANTASTIC;  I would like you to SEE and READ the entire book entitled FANTASTIC ART by Walter Schurian before you walk into class this morning!

I would like to.  I would like those of you who care to do so.

But, at the very least, for the rest of you, come into class having CAREFULLY read and studied (that means you know the name of the painter/artist and the title of their work) 5, FIVE, 11-6, 100-95, that is 5 of the WORKS contained in this volume! in addition to these 5 eye-popping acts of art of your own selection, you MUST carefully study and intellectually process the following!

walter schurian's intro, pp 6-25
franz von stuck's THE SIN, 28
alfred kubin, THE SNAKE GOD, 34
henri rousseau's THE DREAM, 44
rudolph schlicter, BLIND POWER, 52
dorothea tanning, BIRTHDAY, 56
frida kahlo, THE BROKEN COLUMN, 60
hans bellmer, THE DOLL, 62
maurizio catelan, THE NINTH HOUR 90

Wednesday | October 11, 2006

What did you do last night, Tuesday? You carefully "read" your REQUIRED Frida Kahlo stickers.  They are small, however, building on your study of THE BROKEN COLUMN in the FANTASTIC ART book, walk into class prepared to WRITE something meaningful about Kahlo's particular spin on the notion of  Seduction, Hallucination, and Literature.

ANALYTICAL IMAGINATION CHALLENGE guidesheets will be distributed to the class--this major course essay will be due:  FRIDAY November 17nth, 2006 @ 12 noon deposited into one of the 16 decorated envelopes outside my office door! Use THIS gradingcheatsheet to avoid silly errors!


Monday | October 16, 2006

Secretary screening | 

readings?  WHAT NIGHT BRINGS Carla Trujillo, the first 100 pages!

Wednesday | October 18, 2006

Secretary screening!

readings?  WHAT NIGHT BRINGS Carla Trujillo, to page 140

maryMonday | October 23, 2006

Secretary Discussion Session

Today we will attempt to reconcile the worlds of Steven Shainberg, cinematic and eclectic, with the short story stylings of MARY GAITSKILL, literary and eclectic.  Go to the ZOO and print out and read Gaitskill's short story version of SECRETARY.  BE WARNED! like the film it is ADULT!!!!! Contrast Gaitskill and Shainberg's takes on the material.  You may want to visit the OED and look up the terms SADISM, MASOCHISM and SADOMASOCHISM--why such alarming terms to bring to the fore in dealing with a movie that's merely about love?

more readings? try to finish WHAT NIGHT BRINGS Carla Trujillo, completed--we MAY not get to it today!  be flexible!!!
Wednesday | October 25, 2006


World Class Comedy Troupe!

2 of California's amazing trio of Latino stooges, CULTURE CLASH, will be in our house, A&L 201,  for an experimental presentation and performance.  Presently ON STAGE at the La Jolla Playhouse with their amazing play ZORRO , Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza  will flee the chic environs of Torrey Pines for the hot shores of Montezuma Mesa.


Though it is expensive and few tickets remain, interested students are welcome to go see ZORRO at the La Jolla Playhouse for an extra-credit opportunity; see me in office hours, Mondays 1 to 4pm, A&L 273 for details!  UPDATE: Ric Salinas just called me to let me know there are RUSH tickets for 15 bucks for each night's perfomance--visit the La Jolla Playhouse using the "click for more info" link picture above!

*CULTURE CLASH's performance is a REQUIRED literary text.  Your $2 DONATION (According to SDSU by-laws, I cannot call this dastardly fee a lab fee) constitutes the troupe's honorarium for their live performance!

File under: performance art; comedy; improv; ethnic studies; satire; teatro, post-movimiento shenanigans, theatre and parody.

Monday | October 30, 2006

Dr Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde haunt our Halloween Week nightmares as we plunge into the psychologically velvet confines of Robert Louis Stevenson's THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JECKYLL AND MR HYDE.  Enter class having read the entire novel!

Wednesday | November 1, 2006

We stroll into our literary lounge of love in order to complete our discussion of Stevenson's magnificent meditation on the seductive hallucinatory dance of psychological doppelgängers.

Monday |  November 6, 2006

WHAT NIGHT BRINGS Carla Trujillo discussion day--walk into our amphitheatre having read to at least page 174 in this amazing novel.  Keep your eye out for obvious themes and motifs: superheroes, lesbian desire, Chicana identity, Gender roles, desire, the border, Spanish vs/and English, etc.

Wednesday | November 8, 2006

Today we will complete our discussion of Trujillo's outstanding novel.   Walk into the room having completed the novel.  

In the last part of class, we will screen 10 minutes from the movie GIANT, the prepare you for next week's reading!

Monday |  November 13, 2006

Walk into our class having read SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT.  Today we welcome Tino Villanueva to our giant lounge of seduction to perform parts of  and answer your probing questions from SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT.  Attendance will be taken today the same way that it was taken for CULTURE CLASH. After reading SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT you must take an envelope.  On one side as big as you can, write your name and section number.  On the other transcribe your favorite stanza of poetry from SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT and your own creative assortment of images, stickers, etc that evoke the "feel" of Villanueva's poetry.  In that envelope I am asking you to place a $1 bill (ONE dollar) to help defray Villanueva's traveling expenses from BOSTON.  This is NOT a lab fee.  Call it an artist donation.  In any event, since I cannot compel you to pay a dime for a living writer, a living text in a way (I was called on the carpet by an administrator for doing so with Culture Clash), I can say if you want to invest in bad karma, and diss a living writer, you are free to omit the dollar from the envelope.  Just don't be surprised if a coal sits giftwrapped under your tree, menorah, festivus pole, etc. this coming holiday season.

Wednesday | November 15, 2006

xmas comes early on November 15, 2006

NO BIG CLASS Scheduled in A&L201--gtas will let you know what they have decided to do with breakout sections!

take the extra time to make your imagination challenge writings amazing!!!!!

Friday | November 17, 2006

Analytical Imagination Challenge Research Essays DUE!!!!

Monday |  November 20 2006

We will have class today!!!!!  

Final class-day before the Thanksgiving Holidays!!!
Oliver Mayer is on tap as we throw ourself into the fractious hothouse of violence and love that is BLADE TO THE HEAT--here's the reading!

Wednesday | November 22, 2006

NO bigroom class! Have an amazing Thanksgiving with your various beloveds!

Monday | November 27, 2006

Today is THREE-RING circus LITERATURE Day--our introduction to literature class has featured almost every genre and media as, seduced by its splendors, we have sampled the smorgosbord of tasty temptings that is the world of the literary.  Today we experience literary schizophrenia as three professors--one a brand spanking new poet/assistant professor in the Department of English, Ilya Kaminsky, from Russia; one a second year American Indian Studies Assistant Professor, David Kamper; the last, a 20th-year Professor/Old Fart, Nericcio--come into our Seductive Hallucination Wiik Auditorium for the intellectual equivalent of a three-way wrestling match! You must walk into class having read all of the pages provided via our state-of-the-art world wide web information delivery system, so take them with you over Thanksgiving break!

sherman alexie by d. kamper!
poe by wm. nericcio!
kaminsky by ilya kaminsky!

click here for your readings!!!!
click as well to see what may well me the ugliest retro-web page i have ever designed!

file under: native 
american literature, american literature, russian literature, comparative literature, cultural studies, deconstruction, american studies, psychological fiction, essay, non-fiction, and poetry.
Wednesday | November 29, 2006

The return of Comedy as DAVE CHAPPELLE closes the seductive hallucination experiment! In class screening and discussion of Chappelle Show sequences! Your mandatory reading for today, to be completed BEFORE walking into our luscious Wiik Auditorium comes from the pen of a dead French philosopher by the name of Henri Bergson!  Your reading, an excerpt from his book Laughter comes to you in word (.doc) or adobe (.pdf) flavors!  Print it out and BRING it to class--you will be glad you did!

Monday | December 4, 2006

surprises! exam hints! revelations!  Also, an in-class quiz a possibility!

Wednesday | December 6, 2006

Final In-Class Imagination Challenge, also known as the Scrary Exam! No classes or breakout session days, unless decreed by your GTA, after today's 9:00am session!!!!