English 122NW: Narratives of War

UC Santa Barbara, Winter 2012


This course examines twentieth- and twenty-first century narratives of war from the perspective of our contemporary moment. It thus does not aim to be historically comprehensive; instead our reading will be focused on certain questions and themes, including smart war, total war, just war, netwar; spectacle & spectatorship; trauma; mediation; the rhetoric of intervention; models of the enemy; and the reformulation of human rights in the context of the “war on terror.” At least two trajectories will structure our reading and discussions: (1) a shift from second-hand recorded truths (historiography, photography, first-person narration) to the immediacy of immersive media (embedded reporting, the televisual, and simulations); and (2) a shift from the project of representation to information visualization. We will attend to the genre of war literature, but we will also be considering photographs, journalism, documentary and fictional film, media art, games, criticism and theory.

Professor Rita Raley
Department of English | SH 2703
Course schedule: MW 5:00-6:15pm | GIRV 1004
Office hours: Th 3:30-5:00 | SH 2703
<raley at english dot ucsb dot edu>

Tues 8:00-9:00am | SH 1415 | Lindsay Thomas <lindsaythomas at umail>
Tues 9:00-10:00am | SH 1415 | Lindsay Thomas
Tues 5:00-6:00pm | SH 2635 | Judith Paltin <jhicks at umail>
Tues 6:00-7:00pm | SH 2635 | Judith Paltin
Wed 8:00-9:00am | SH 2635 | Jonathan Forbes <jforbes at umail>
Wed 9:00-10:00am | SH 2635 | Jonathan Forbes

Pat Barker, Regeneration
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose
Joe Sacco, Safe Area Goražde
Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines


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