Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Final essay details now up

Hi: I've posted details on the final paper (due in the last week of classes, in your tutorial) - they're a pdf under the "course docs" section on the bottom right of this blog. Have fun!

Monday, February 21, 2011

104W powerpoints now on course blog

Hi everyone - I hope you had a good break & got some reading done (!). Especially Chuck Klosterman's Fargo Rock City, which you will be discussing in tutorial this week & I'll be lecturing on this Thursday. I've also posted the powerpoints for the first half of the course on the blog, to the right. Finally, you will be receiving your first paper back this week in tutorial and you will be expected to revise it and hand it in again the following week. Welcome back!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Did twitter, social media, cause the revolutions in Tunisia & Egypt?

There's been a lot of discussion about the role of social media in the uprisings the past few weeks in the Arab/Muslim world. The Globe and Mail has a series of "curated" posts (from facebook, twitter, etc.) about what's been happening in Egypt here and the Huffington Post also has a guide to what's going on in Egypt here. I've also been posting a lot of links of my twitter feed. Here are three different views on the usefulness of social media: from a Forbes magazine blog, from the Globe, and from boingboing. Note that all of these are Western-based media (although I was quoted on a Cairo blog on the weekend). What do you think? We'll talk about this in lecture on Thursday, so take a look at these links and come to class.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Revised schedule up under course docs

Hi everyone:

Because of last Thursday's snow day, I've pushed the assignment due date (for the first assignment & its revision only) and the reading schedule back a week or two. So the Frederick Douglass paper is now due in tutorial the week of Feb. 1/3. You will get your marked papers back after reading break, & the revisions are due a week after that. The readings are all pushed back - which means you should have no problem getting the Gertrude Stein text read for next week (you should already have started it) & keeping up with Zizek. You can find the revised schedule on the lower right of this blog, under course docs.

Using Lacan/Zizek in your paper

A good question came in over the weekend & since it's about the paper you're working on right now, I'd like to share it here.

Q: I have a question about the Lacan paper or I suppose papers: are we supposed to read them with a Lacanian interpretation or are we supposed to read them in a Zizekian interpretation of Lacan? In my search to find a better explanation of Lacan, I have stumbled across his psycho-sexual stages as well as the Oedipus complex and I would very much like to use those ideas for the Frederick Douglass paper. Since, these ideas are not in the Zizek book you gave us I thought it would be best if I asked if this was allowed.

A: For the first paper, on Douglass, any Lacanian references are bonus so take them from where you'd like (properly cited). For the final paper, I do want to see references to the Zizek text as it is assigned to the course - but, again, if you also have other Lacanian citations (including from my lectures or tutorial) that's all good.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

snow day

Due to buses service being suspended @ SFU - for the past hour - I am cancelling today's 10:30 a.m. lecture and my 12:30 tutorial. Because I was to lecture on Frederick Douglass again this week, THE FIRST PAPER'S DEADLINE IS PUSHED BACK A WEEK - so it is now due in tutorial not next week, but the following week (Feb 1/3). Please take care if you're on the roads today & I'll see you next week. I will be up on campus (snow willing) tomorrow afternoon, so will be available for office consultation - please email me. - Prof. Burnham

Monday, January 17, 2011

WeeTube @ the PuSH festival

Tonight at the opening "gala" for the PuSH theatre festival I saw a great performance by Theatre Replacement called WeeTube - a short description is here - the actors read out (they're listening to iPods) the comments sections from wack YouTube videos (Christ getting hit by a bus, Saudi guys skating on a freeway, a woman bonking her head on a TV lipsyncing to Beyonce's Single Girl, etc.). The performance works in two ways: enunciating (saying out loud) the often obscene or acronymic (LOL etc) comments is a kind of disjunction between what we are used to reading but not hearing; too, the banality of the comments have their own kind of poetry, esp when the commentators start arguing or "flaming" with each other.