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COMPLIT 371: Aesthetics, Politics, and Modernity: Critical Theory and China (CHINA 371)

Environmental degradation and ecological crises have given rise to critiques and cultural reflection. This class will bring together issues of aesthetics, politics, and artworks around environmental concerns. We will study Marxist (Marx, David Harvey, and Eagleton) and Frankfurt School (Adorno and Benjamin) critiques of capitalist production as the source of environment degradation, the alienation of humans from nature, human domination over nature, the colonization and plunder of nature in the third world, and elite domination of working classes. We will study and critique the notion of anthropocentrism as a key ideology for scientific and technological advances at the expense of communities, the environment, and the planet. We will review romantic, feminist and other ecological critiques of industrial modernity and the endless pursuit of economic growth and profit. Taking a global and comparative perspective, we will study Chinese eco-critical literature and films, which include short SF fiction, films Sanxia haoren (Still Life) directed by Jia Zhangke and Kekexili (Mountain patrol) by Lu Chuan.nChinese is not required. PhD students are required to write a term paper of 20-25 pages. MA and undergraduate students will write two short essays of 10 pages in response to the questions from readings and discussion.
Terms: Aut | Units: 2-5 | Repeatable for credit
Instructors: Wang, B. (PI)
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