Schedule–Revised

ERES PASSWORD: 3265mn

This syllabus contains some significant revisions of the original. I’m listing changes briefly in the list below. Please look through the revised Schedule and the Policies and Requirements section to be sure we’re all on the same page. If something isn’t clear, let me know.

SUMMARY OF REVISIONS:

  • All of us, including me, will be posting twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday, within smaller groups of 5-6 students. I plan to participate in every group on all Tuesdays and Thursdays. Posts are due by 1:30 pm (EST–local time in VT) on the relevant day.
  • LINKS FOR EACH DAY’S DISCUSSION APPEAR JUST BELOW THE READING ASSIGNMENT ON THE SCHEDULE. BE SURE YOU POST WITH YOUR GROUP BY CLICKING THE APPROPRIATE LINK FOR THE DAY. IF YOU POST ANYWHERE OTHER THAN IN YOUR GROUP’S FORUM, YOUR POST WILL BE INVISIBLE TO EVERYONE. See the “Posting with Your Group” tab at the top of this page.
  • I’ve added completely VOLUNTARY online typed chats and video discussions (via Zoom) to the syllabus. The chats will be Tues, 1:30-2:45 and require typing; the video discussions will be on Thurs, from 1:30-2:00.
    • If it’s useful, the Zoom discussions could be scheduled for more time later in the semester. At the start, though, I’d rather they be too short than too long.
    • To join, just download the app to your device and click on the link in the course schedule.
    • To download Zoom go here.
    • If no one appears for any given chat or Zoom discussions after 10 minutes, I might log off and move on to other obligations.
    • If you join the discussion on Zoom, please don’t leave in the middle of it. They’re short and leaving is distracting.
    • Feel free to join a few minutes late, especially if you have trouble connecting.
  • I removed the Podcast and Scene Presentation assignments from the original schedule. I couldn’t figure out a good way to make these work remotely.
  • The Final project for the course remains.
  • If you treat the posts seriously and complete the final project, you and I will both come away having learned something while preserving another of the original intentions of the class: to make the work you do visible to one another and to privilege dialog.
  • Take care. Stay healthy. This is all a work in progress.

Unit I) Mid-19th century Madness

Week 1 Urban Capitalism, Non-Conformity, and Obsession
T 2/11 Intro–
Th 2/13 Melville, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (1853) (eres)

Week 2 Monomania, Illusion, and Sexual Obsession
T 2/18 Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Wakefield” (1835), “Young Goodman Brown” (1835) “The Minister’s Black Veil” (1836) (eres)
Th 2/20 Edgar Allan Poe, “Berenice” (1835), “Ligeia” (1838) (eres)

Unit II) Domestic Discontents, Sexuality, and Mental Illness
Week 3
T 2/25 Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892), “Why I wrote the Yellow Wallpaper” (1913)
S. Weir Mitchell. “Rest in the Treatment of Nervous Disease: Its Use and Abuse” (1875) (eres)

Th 2/27 250-500 words, written and recorded on a single object. We’ll listen to several of these in class. This should be an effort to lose yourself in the “obsessive” voice we hear in Poe or Gilman. It shouldn’t be a parody or mockery, but a sincere effort to narrate obsession. What were the challenges in writing or speaking in this voice? What are the obstacles to it? Were you able to work your mind into a state of observing or imagining previously unseen details and meanings? Was it easy for you? Are there any pleasures in this way of looking and thinking? What is the experience?

Week 4
T 3/3  Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899) (first half); Gayl Jones, “Asylum” (1977)(eres); Nisi Shawl, “The Tawny Bitch” (2003)(eres). We’ll talk first about the Jones and Shawl stories today.
Th 3/5   Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899)

Week 5 Darwinism and Degeneration
T 3/10 Frank Norris, Vandover and the Brute (written 1890s; published 1914). Read first half.
Th 3/12 Frank Norris, Vandover and the Brute. Read second half.

Week 6 Remembering Slavery and Modernized Bartlebies
T 3/17 Charles Chesnutt, “Po’ Sandy”, “Dave’s Neckliss”, and “The Doll” PODCAST: Groups 1 and 2
Th 3/19 Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1938) PODCAST: Groups 3 and 4

SPRING BREAK

Unit III) The Asylum: Moral Treatment, Medical Treatment and the Controversy of Institutionalization

Week 7

T 3/31 Moral Treatment and the Kirkbride Plan, 1820-1860
• From David Rothman, The Discovery of the Asylum, Chapter 5, “Insanity and the Social Order” and Chapter 6, “The New World of the Asylum” (eres)
“Life in the Asylum,” by a patient in the New York State Insane Asylum (1855)
Lecture/Slideshow: The Birth of the Asylum, 1730-1860.
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Th 4/2 The Decline of Moral Treatment, 1850-1900
Nellie Bly, Ten Days in a Mad-House, 1887
Lecture/Slideshow: The Asylum: Expansion and Deterioration, 1870-1930
Optional:
• From Isaac Hunt, Astounding Disclosures! Three Years in a Madhouse (eres)
• Adriana Brinckle, from Life among the Insane (eres)
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Week 8 The Counterculture and the Asylum
T 4/7 Ken Kesey, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)–First Half
Slideshow/Lecture: The New Bedlam: Psychiatric Hospitals after WWII
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Th 4/9 Ken Kesey, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest–Second Half
WATCH: Milos Forman, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975
Slideshow/Lecture: Cuckoo’s Nest: Masculinity, “Black Boys,” and Nature
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Week 9 Contemporary Nervousness?
T 4/14 Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted (1993)
Sideshow/Lecture: Girl, Interrupted: Adolescence, Gender, and Diagnosis
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


Th 4/16 Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
• Watch James Mangold, Girl, Interrupted (1999) (available on Amazon, Google Movies, etc)
Slideshow/Lecture: From Memoir to Fiction on the Women’s Ward
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Unit IV) American Psychos—Criminals and Psychopaths

Week 10
T 4/21  Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs (1981) (first half)
Slides/Lecture: Mind Control and Body Control:  Anti-Psychiatry, Titicut Follies, and The Silence of the Lambs
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Th 4/23 Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs (1981) (second half)
Slides/Lecture: Medieval Dungeons and Modern Psychiatry in The Silence of the Lambs
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Week 11
T 4/28 Watch: Jonathan Demme, The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Slides/Lecture: Gender, Sexuality, and Violence: Looking in The Silence of the Lambs
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Th 4/30 Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho, (1991)–read first half (American Psycho is satire, but it includes some long, notoriously graphic scenes of sexual and other kinds of violence. Most of these unfold in the novel’s second half. Some, though, are in these pages.)
Slides/Lecture: From Outrage to Icon: Patrick Bateman and American Psycho
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Week 12
T 5/5 Brett Easton Ellis, American Psycho–read second half
Slides/Lecture: Images, Penitents, and the Hellbound: Consumer Desire in American Psycho
• Optional Live Chat, 1:30-2:45. Click the button in the lower right corner.

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Th 5/7 Watch: Mary Harron, American Psycho (2000)
Slides/Lecture: The Afterlife of Patrick Bateman
• Optional Zoom Discussion: See your email for Link, 1:30-2:00

Discussion Groups: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]