Friday, March 18, 2016

Syllabus | SUMMER 2016 | SDSU in London | EYE/I ON LONDON: UK Art, Cinema, Theatre, Club Culture NOW! | Anth 439 • Engl 493 • CLT 470 • MALAS 600A

Summer 2016
UK Art, Cinema, Theatre, Club Culture NOW!
ANTH 439, ENGL 493, CLT 470, OR MALAS 600A | Professor William A. Nericcio

race yourself for a unique Study Abroad experimental seminar, a kinetic, always evolving class, where we will devour as much of the cutting-edge art, film, literature, photography, theatre, and club-life of the planet's greatest city, London, as is humanly possible. In the four weeks that we spend here on this glorious, peculiar island, we will become curious and savvy 21st century cultural anthropologists as our field work sends us to all parts of London and beyond--in less than a month, we will become as one with the flesh and fabric of an incredible urban body, allowing sensual visual/viral elements to infect our minds and change the way we see (and think, and write) in the process. Travel and study abroad is a unique experience--like some sort of psychological tattoo it etches itself into and onto our minds changing our vision (and our lives) in the process. London will be sure to leave its mark on all of us!

The focus of our class may, at first, strike you as a bit of a surprise as reading the SDSU catalogue's description for Anthropology 439 is enough to make one doze off or run away! 

"Signs and Proxemics," oh my!
Holy Social Sciences Batman! "Signs and proxemics" sounds like some medieval abdominal diuretic, some new, radically invasive, medical procedure you might want to avoid! 

Our class will move in a slightly different direction (more 21st-century than medieval) as we discover how "seeing" through London's EYE impacts on world visual culture. Our EYE on London, our "I" on London, too (as if we had a choice), we will use various literary, cinematic, and anthropological tactics to merge ourselves with the vibrant circuitry of Europe's greatest city. In the process, we will study and draw conclusions regarding creative communities and individuals performing and filming in the United Kingdom. If it is filmed in London, on film in London, about film, etc, we will pursue it--our field trips will be as likely to check out the screening of hot, new films in cutting-edge locales as it will be to encounter breakout performance art in pub theatres.

PLEASE NOTE THAT our four-week long adventure presumes no experience in the field of anthropology or literature or film, nor does it assume you know the difference between pulling focus, harassing a key grip, or calling “speed.” Lastly, we most certainly do not not assume a command of the streets of London.

What do we assume of students taking this amazing London-based class?  


Wait, that’s too lame. 

Not just “curiosity” but a thirst, a passion, a lust for new knowledge, novel insights, and beautiful, sometimes provocative, public spectacles.

The films and field trips that will make up our class are a mix of visual delights--both films that feature London and the United Kingdom, and classic and independent films seen in some of London's amazing movie palaces! And while movie-watching will form part of our class, we are equally interested in performed pubic acts of art--whether it be theatre at Shakespeare's Globe, or some talented busker pounding out Oasis or Coldplay covers in the London Underground. The best thing about our class is that it is designed as a moveable feast, as we literally prowl across London in search of cutting edge, classic, and even, in a few cases, older art in order to gauge what drives the aesthetic imagination of the ARTS metropolis of Europe. In short, the bulk of our seminar will be taken up with outings to the amazing number of arts altars dotted across the London landscape--the classroom will not be a place we spend much time at all.

The Tate Modern Museum, one of our destinations in London!

How the Class Works: The cineTREK™

The class is designed in an innovative fashion in order to accommodate your busy schedules in and around London. Here is how it works and how your grade will be determined:

On average, a typical SDSU class rewards students with 3 units; this, in turn, requires about forty-five to fifty hours of classroom time (not counting time for homework, readings etc). SDSU Summer Sessions are no different, and SDSU Summer Session study abroad classes follow these same state-mandated rules. The difference with this class is that you can PICK your 45-50 hours of intellectual labor from over 140 hours of field trips, screenings, lectures, plays, gallery chats, etc. that I will come up with during our stay in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Our field trips are called cineTREKs™ and they will be listed on our own frequently updated cineTREK calendar located here

How this works on practical basis is that while there may be around 20-22 cineTREKS™ available to pick from, you are only responsible for completing 13 of them--this means you can fashion your own schedule and course emphasis AND most importantly, that you can find/make time to travel around Europe while in the UK if you see fit to do that. Of these 13 excursions, you will be expected to do 500 word-written responses/critiques for at least 5 of your outings (be sure to write about cineTREKS™ where you have had an amazing experience! Nothing is lamer than student essays about experiences they loathed and are pretending to have enjoyed in their writing).

{Do please note that several of the cineTREKs™ listed here WILL HAVE ADMISSION fees and that said FEES WILL NOT BE PAID BY THE FOUNDATION nor by your 'starving' Professor; that having been said, every measure will be taken to assure that this experiment in aesthetics, pedagogy and travel will be no more nor no less expensive than a regular class back in sunny San Diego.}

Writing Assignments (Online!)

You are to post your five (5) written cineTREK written responses on your online site. All students will be free to offer reviews, commentaries and critiques based on prompts from the Professor as well as random comments you might want to pitch in response to other students' writings. I, too, will be holding forth in this cyberforum and the students are especially encouraged and challenged to submit comments regularly--count on making at least 5 entries on your cineTREK™ blog (basically, you are expected to write on a little less than half of the field trips you attend). These critical pieces of writing should be around 500 words or two pages, double-spaced, typed each. Grades will be assigned for these entries, so quality, of course, will be AS important as quantity. Graduate students enrolled in the LONDON ROCKS program will have additional assignments that will be discussed at the first class in London.

Grade Breakdown

cineTREK™ field trips       50%
cineTREK™ Blog Entries   50%

Reading Assignments

As London is our classroom during our stay, readings for the course will be kept to a minimum--however, especially for those of you new to Cultural Studies, the following pieces might prove quite useful:

Roland Barthes, Mythologies
Read the first two chapters on Wrestlers and "Roman-ness" {link}

Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle

{note: you are NOT compelled to read the entire volume--if you give the 2nd chapter a good try, that will suffice:

John Berger, Ways of Seeing (selections)

Primers on Anthropology
1. What is Anthropology?

Office Hours

Office Hours to be announced via email each week!

NOTE!!! Everything that appears below this Posting pertains to LONDON ROCKS 2014 and BEFORE!

All postings that appear below this message on this blog are from prior versions/semesters of the LONDON ROCKS program--feel free to prowl them, but nothing you encounter there pertains to our 2016 summer adventures!