Contagious Cultures: Narrative,film,soc

HUM4640 Contagious Cultures: Narrative, Film, Society
(Formerly Literature and Film of Contagion)
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits

Wherever you live in the world, it is almost certain that your life has been affected if not profoundly transformed over the past two years. The experience of living through such a vast contagion prompted me to think not about illness (I think we're exhausted by that), but about the spreadability and transmission of all sorts of infectious content. In this course, we will look very little at narratives of actual physical contagions. Instead, we will study contagion-as-metaphor for the expansion of a wide range of ideas and movements that propagate, spread, go viral, catch on, etcetera. Through narrative and film, discussion and debate, we will consider such overt topics as humor, laughter, and fear, but also beliefs, environmental contagion, cheating, social media, scapegoating and cancel culture, hair and fashion styles, protest, hope, and happiness, among other possibilities. Why and how do we aspire to some concepts going "viral," while striving to contain others? How is the speed and profusion of transmission of things other than disease both a positive and a negative aspect of our contemporary world?

Prerequisites: Any combination of 2 ILA (HSS, LTA, CSP, LVA, CVA)

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Arts and Humanities
  • Level: Advanced Liberal Arts 4600 Requirement (UGrad),Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: HUM4640
  • Number of Credits: 4