English 4 - Spring, 2013

Critical Inquiry & Literature

    Topic: Disposable Culture: Love & Garbage

Class Information

Instructor: Elliott, William
CRN: 62552
Time: MW 10:00-11:50
Location: 1106 Hart


    This quarter we will get down and dirty with literary representations of garbage— broadly defined —in its material, aesthetic, ethical, and theoretical dimensions. We'll draw on current social, ecological, and cultural phenomena to approach core questions of literary studies and empower ourselves with a more informed perspective on how our love-hate relationship with impurity both constructs and disrupts the boundaries of everyday experience.

    What does all that mean, specifically? Zombies, composting, cyborgs, fixies, ecology, haute couture, racism, globalization, homesteading, vampires, robots, janitors, hacker-DIY-maker culture, extreme sports, the urban-rural divide, remixes, punk rock— our list goes on!

    Please contact me with any questions.

    Texts and Films:

    Cory Doctorow, "Makers"
    A. R. Ammons, "Garbage"
    Edward Humes, "Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash"
    Zeitgeist Films, "Manufactured Landscapes"
    Pixar Studios, "Wall-E"

    Course Reader:

    from Mark Danielewski, "House of Leaves"
    from Rick Bass, "The Lives of Rocks"
    Sato & Sato, "High School of the Dead"
    additional prose, poetry, photography, and relevant critical theory


    Field Research: 10%
    Position Paper: 10%
    Quizzes: 10%
    Essay 1: 20%
    Essay 2: 20%
    Presentation: 20%
    Final: 10%


    see above