The People’s Colloquium › Forums › Academics › Philosophy and Ideas – Lectures and Discussions › October 2018 – March 2019: Theory, Criticism, and Society › Monday, October 8th – Theory, Criticism, and Society
Below, please find syllabi for our October 8th discussion and lecture. Typically these resources are posted 2 weeks in advance.
Theory, Criticism, and Society: 10/2018 – 3/2019
During this semester, we’ll explore ideas from theory and criticism focusing on art, literature, music, and culture, with the further intention of applying such ideas to the creation and organization of society. Our goal is to deepen our understanding of theory and criticism, and to broaden our perspective of the world we live in—and the possibilities open to us.
Discussion facilitator: Richard P
Discussion title: Making The Familiar Strange with Viktor Shklovsky
During this discussion, we’ll analyze the essay “Art as Technique” by Viktor Shklovsky.
“Art as Technique” is famous for introducing the concept of “de-familiarization.” In brief, the goal of de-familiarization is to make the “familiar strange” in order to interrupt the reader’s habitual modes of interaction and understanding, and to represent the world as novel and rich. The concept can be applied to how language is shaped (by creating unusual language) as well as to the content of language (by presenting subject matters in unusual ways). The concept’s influence reaches into a surprising number of fields, including literature, theatre, film, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and beyond—which can be explored further in the optional readings listed below.
The first part of our discussion will be a group analysis of the text. This part will last for roughly one hour. While it’s requested that our participants read the text in advance, if possible, all are welcome to attend the discussion, even if they do not have enough time in advance to read the text — there will be time enough to learn while we’re together.
The second part of our discussion will be devoted to answering the following question: “How can we use the concept of “de-familiarization” to make people more aware of themselves, their world, and their role therein?” This part of the discussion will also last roughly one hour.
The following resources provide additional information, context, and history. These are optional to read or view in advance to our discussion.
– De-familiarization (wikipedia) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamiliarization
– Viktor Shkovsky (wikipedia) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Shklovsky#Writer_and_theorist
– Russian Formalism (wikipedia) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_formalism
Quarterly Seminar – “Theory, Criticism, and Society”:
This discussion fits into a larger series of connected discussions and lectures running from 10/2018 – 3/2019. During this series, we’ll explore a variety of ideas from theory and criticism focusing on art, literature, music, and culture, with the further intention of applying such ideas to the creation and organization of society. Our goal during this quarter is to deepen our understanding of theory and criticism, and to broaden our perspective of the world we live in—and the possibilities open to us.
Lecture Title: Feminist Horror Frameworks
Lecturer: Kellye McBride
Blurb: In recent years, special attention has been paid to how horror narratives address feminist concerns of violence against women, body dysmorphia, and gender roles in both positive and negative ways. Many scholars have weighed in on whether horror films are fundamentally positive or negative in their portrayals of women, and whether this has changed in light of contemporary approaches to horror. This lecture aims to address feminist criticisms of the horror film and problematize notions of gender specifically within horror films.
150-Word Description: Is horror good for women? Are horror films what Laura Mulvey calls negative depictions of the male gaze where women are vivisected painfully onscreen, catering to a fundamentally white male audience? Or is the genre simply more nuanced than that, in light of recent statistics that show that women make up the majority of horror audiences? Does horror include the potential for addressing powerful female archetypes that have been traditionally subverted in our culture, including witches, vampires, and succubi? This lecture explores and problematizes portrayals of femininity in the horror film and seeks to question the notion that horror narratives specifically contain gender-coded violence.
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