Ph.D. in Cultural Mediations
Course Listings for the Academic Year 2020-2021 

Please note: students are responsible for ensuring that their selected courses meet the program requirements stated in the Calendar. If, however, you feel that you need additional information or guidance please contact us.

Courses this fall and winter will all be offered in one of three online forms: Synchronous, Asynchronous or Blended. For definitions of these terms, please visit the Carleton Online webpage.

Fall Courses 2020-2021

CLMD 6101T: Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity in Cultural Theory

Instructor: Philip Kaisary

This course will address the theory and practice of interdisciplinary studies of culture. Attention will be paid to those themes and issues in cultural theory of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that inform contemporary interdisciplinary work in literature, film, music, art and new media. ‎This course is continued in the second semester.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time.

CLMD 6104F/ENGL 5610F: Issues in Cultural Politics: Documentary and Crisis

Instructor:  Franny Nudelman

In the aftermath of the Second World War, documentary filmmakers, photographers, and writers grappled with violence that was unprecedented in scale; in the decades that followed, they continued to respond to the unanticipated and often incomprehensible crises of their age. In the process, they created new forms of documentary expression. This course examines innovations in the field of documentary culture after 1945, with an emphasis on documentary activism in a US context. Taking an expansive view of the field, we will consider documentary texts that deal with war, forced migration, racial terror, and climate emergency. We will ask: What role does literary and visual culture play in making disruptive change real? How are the methods and aims of documentarians transformed by new technologies and alternative forms of collectivity? How do documentarians remake social realities? Throughout, we will explore the power of documentary to respond to catastrophic events and uncharted social conditions as they unfold.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time.

CLMD 6105F/MUSI 5008F/DIGH5902G: Issues in the Technologies of Culture:

Instructor: Paul Théberge

The course is initially framed by a broad understanding of technology as cultural and social practice; issues discussed include technology and its relationship to science, philosophy, objective/subjective knowledge, economy and ideology.  The course then turns to a consideration of the inter-related histories of cinema and sound, music and sound carriers, video games and computers.  Issues of innovation, representation, textuality, gender, and social networks are discussed in relation to music, sound, image, and digital technologies.  Urban and virtual worlds as visual and aural spaces and spaces of consumption, the construction time and space, and the technologization of the body are also considered.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time.

 

CLMD 6900T: “Interdisciplinary Research Methods”

Instructor: Paul Théberge

Students prepare for their second comprehensive examination and to write and defend the doctoral dissertation successfully. Practices of academic publishing, conference presentations and academic articles; grant writing, ethical conduct in research and private and public sector employment opportunities. This course is continued in the second semester.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time.


Winter Courses 2020-2021

Courses this fall and winter will all be offered in one of three online forms: Synchronous, Asynchronous or Blended. For definitions of these terms, please visit the Carleton Online webpage.

CLMD 6101T: Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity in Cultural Theory

Instructor: Daniel McNeil

This course is a continuation of CLMD 6101 in the first semester. It will address the theory and practice of interdisciplinary studies of culture. Attention will be paid to those themes and issues in cultural theory of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that inform contemporary interdisciplinary work in literature, film, music, art and new media.

Method of delivery: This will be a blended course with a mixture of synchronous meetings and asynchronous activities in addition to hands-on curatorial components. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.

CLMD 6102W/ENGL 5004W: Issues in Transnationalism: Holocaust Representation and Global Memory

Instructor: Sarah Phillips Casteel

How does Holocaust memory circulate across national and cultural borders? How do memories of the Holocaust interact with or compete with those of other historical traumas (African slavery, the genocide of Indigenous peoples) and how has Holocaust memory been reanimated in the service of other political projects? Why did the Holocaust serve as a catalyst to the emergence of memory studies in the late 20th century and to more recent transnational and transcultural directions in the field?

This course is situated at the intersection of the interdisciplinary fields of Holocaust Studies and Memory Studies. We will begin by discussing classic theorizations of the Holocaust and its relationship to cultural and aesthetic representation, engaging with canonical works of Holocaust literature and art. We will then consider the global circulation or “cosmopolitanization” of Holocaust memory through an analysis of literary and visual texts that bring the Holocaust into conversation with colonial histories of trauma, raising thorny issues about uniqueness, comparison and claims to universality. Over the course of the term, we will examine a variety of forms of memory, including: multidirectional, competitive, visual, prosthetic, postmemory, and countermemory. We will give particular attention to the intersection between media and cultural memory and to the role of text and image in remediating, preserving or erasing memories of atrocity. Students will also be encouraged to explore other media relating to their research interests (music, film, digital platforms etc.) as vehicles of traumatic memory.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.

CLMD 6103W/ENGL 5002W: Issues of Cultural Mediation and Representation: Pandemic Persuasions, Passions, Politics

Instructor: Stuart Murray

This course aims to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic through critical readings of theoretical and cultural texts. How might we read the (non)representational practices that surround death in the context of COVID-19? Aesthetic or anaesthetic, ours is a time when death is quietly cultivated and calculated by sacrificial economies and the rhetorics of war: there is a certain threshold of death that would seem to be socially and politically tolerable in the re-opening of global economies. This differential power is summed up by Foucault as the power to “make live and let die.” Crucially, those we “let die” stand in relation to the lives that we “make live”; dying is the bloody secret of life, even as “letting die” is disavowed, refused, or quietly refigured as the collateral damage of an “invisible enemy.” Whether it is “slow death” (Berlant) wrought by racism and austerity, fast death in the digital mediascape and lonely I.C.U., or more coordinated ways of “letting die,” including war and ethnic/racialized violence, these deaths nevertheless speak to and belie what Pope Francis has recently called our “throwaway culture.” Will COVID-19 change this?

This is not a course on memory studies or memorialization or trauma and witnessing. And this is for two reasons. First, and practically, our texts are more diverse and less disciplinary. We will read from high theory and literature to YouTube – an eclectic selection from philosophy, political theory, black studies, and cultural studies, among others, alongside select works of literature, social media metastases, and not least, the “joke” of the pandemic and our responses to it, from public health initiatives and state violence to a protest culture that is critical of lockdowns and seems driven by a ragtag group of anti-vaxxers, Trumpian conservatives, radicalized libertarians, and Traditionalists (to use Steve Bannon’s term). Second, and more ideologically, this course will argue that the study of (non)representational practices in the relationship between death and speech/writing will permit an oblique but trenchant critique of identity politics, liberalism (including its “humanitarian” guises), and the hypostatizations of possessive individualism, ego, self, interiority. To what extent are these forms of subjectivity false idols and tools of subordination, all the while packaged as freedom and “life itself”?

A more speculative question emerges: what is the possibility for community that is not tied to identity categories and to its rituals of representation, be they memory, memorialization, witnessing, or confession? Is there community post-identity or post-COVID? Or, said another way, is there a form of speech/writing that is not tethered to – sanctioned, policed, and in some cases prohibited by – our great idols: identity and “life”?

Method of delivery: Depending on public health orders and the progression of COVID-19, students should be prepared for this course to be delivered synchronously online via Zoom – at the scheduled times. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.

 

CLMD 6104W/ARTH 5210W/CDNS 5003A/CURA5001B: Issues in Cultural Politics: Curating Indigenous Art

Instructor: Carmen Robertson

This seminar involves a hands-on curatorial experience informed by an investigation of exhibition histories related to the display of Indigenous over the past 40 years that prompted new models and voices in Indigenous curation. Indigenous curators have claimed space in galleries and formulated new ways to display Indigenous arts and an analysis of Indigenous curatorial elements will inform this experiential component of this course. The major focus of the course involves the curating of an exhibition of works from the Permanent Collection of the Indigenous Art Centre at the CIRNAC gallery in Gatineau.

Method of delivery: This will be a blended course with a mixture of synchronous meetings and asynchronous activities in addition to hands-on curatorial components. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.

 

CLMD 6105B/FILM 5107W: Issues in the Technologies of Culture: Topics in Film History

Instructor:  Aboubakar Sanogo

Please also register in CLMD 6105BF (screening)

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore theories, histories, and practices pertaining to the archival, with the moving image as its point of entry and focus, while in conversation with other relevant media and fields concerned with the archival (museums, libraries, etc.). It will revisit some of the most important theories of the archival along with lesser-known ones. It will critically retrace the history of the moving image archiving movement. It will also explore the major debates and issues pertaining to archival practice including safeguarding, preservation, restoration, heritage, collecting, cataloging, access, curating and programming, policy, copyrights, the analog vs digital, etc.

Potential contributors may include both Canadian and international archival institutions, organizations and projects: Library and Archives Canada, the Library of Congress and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and affiliates, etc.

Method of delivery: This will be a blended course with a mixture of synchronous meetings and asynchronous activities in addition to hands-on curatorial components. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.

  

CLMD 6900T: “Interdisciplinary Research Methods”

Instructor: Paul Théberge

This course is a continuation of CLMD 6900 in the first semester.

Students prepare for their second comprehensive examination and to write and defend the doctoral dissertation successfully. Practices of academic publishing, conference presentations and academic articles; grant writing, ethical conduct in research and private and public sector employment opportunities. This course is continued in the second semester.

Method of delivery: This course will be synchronous, meeting at a regularly scheduled time. A reliable high-speed Internet connection will be required.