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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2003

ANT 394M • Public Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27260 M
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
EPS 1.130KA

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the emerging theory and ethnography of public culture. It takes culture to be: 1) a public circulation of signs, discourses, goods, sensibilities, imaginaries, desires, expressive forms, etc. and 2) a circulation which is also located, or made social, political, and sensate in institutions, laws, forms of publicity, publics, social movements, physical and social spaces, subjectivities, etc. Public culture impacts, and gives form to, circumstances, identities, surges of power, and structures of feeling in every arena from everyday life practices to nationalist ideologies. We will discuss the public sphere and publics, emergent affect, the charged border between things public and private as forms surge into view or submerge into hiding, the simultaneous exhilaration and anxiety of neoliberalism and consumer culture, the desire for public recognition and public form, and the circuits of circulation evident in technologies, industries and professions. We will be studying public culture with a particular view to its cultural generativity or poesis; to this end, we?ll be thinking theoretically about theories of hegemony, transgression and excess, articulation, emergent structures of feeling, the surge of affect, power?s productivity, and the delineation of the practices of everyday life.


Ann Cvetkovitch. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures Bruce Robbins. Feeling Global. Richard Flores. Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity and the Master Symbol. Lauren Berlant. The Queen of America Goes to Washington City. Susan Harding. The Book of Jerry Falwell. Ulrich Beck. Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Michael Taussig. Defacement: Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative. Other readings: Lauren Berlant. Introduction. in Intimacy Miriam Hansen. Preface to Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. Public Sphere and Experience. Warner, Michael. ?The Mass Public and the Mass Subject.? In The Phantom Public Sphere edited by Bruce Robbins. Comaroff, Jean and John, ?Millennial Capitalism: First Thoughts on a Second Coming? Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism. 12: 2, Public Culture, 2000. Pat O?Malley. ?Containing Our Excitement: Commodity Culture and the Crisis of Discipline.? Donna Haraway. ?For the Love of a Good Dog: Webs of Action in the World of Dog Genetics. Arjun Appadurai and Carol Breckenridge. ?Why Public Culture?? Public Culture, 1:1, 1988. Jacques Donzelot. The Policing of Families. (Introduction) Ivy, Marilyn. ?Have You Seen Me? Recovering the Inner Child in Late Twentieth Century America.? Social Text, no. 37 (1993): 227-252. Gunning, Tom. ?An Aesthetic of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator.? In Film Theory and Criticism, edited by Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen, 818-32. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Toby Miller. Technologies of Truth: Cultural Citizenship and the Popular Media. (Selections) Tom Lutz. American Nervousness, 1903. (Selections)


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