Seminar: 3.02.151 S The Post-Apocalyptic American City - Details

Seminar: 3.02.151 S The Post-Apocalyptic American City - Details

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General information

Course name Seminar: 3.02.151 S The Post-Apocalyptic American City
Course number 3.02.151
Semester WiSe22/23
Current number of participants 26
expected number of participants 40
Home institute Institute of English and American Studies
Courses type Seminar in category Teaching
First date Wednesday, 19.10.2022 12:15 - 13:45, Room: A01 0-009
Lehrsprache englisch
ECTS points 6

Rooms and times

A01 0-009
Wednesday: 12:15 - 13:45, weekly (14x)

Module assignments


John Winthrop, Puritan leader and first governor of Massachusetts, famously described the British colony in the New World as a "city upon a hill." Winthrop's city established "a model of the American national imagination" (Bercovitch) and epitomized an exceptionalist narrative that imagined "the eyes of all people [...] upon" the Puritans. American cities have since often been associated with the future; however, this future has not always been defined by technological superiority and wealth, with actualizing the seemingly unlimited potentials of the New World. Indeed, post-apocalyptic American cities seem to permeate the popular imagination just as much as optimistic portrayals of American cities.

In this seminar, we will discuss representations of various post-apocalyptic American cities. While introductory lectures will trace these representations to the early days of the American national project, our focus will be on cultural artifacts produced since the early twentieth century. We will (largely) progress chronologically through various media.

Likely texts:
Jack London, The Scarlet Plague (novella, 1912)
W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Comet" (short story, 1920)
Quiet, Please! (radio program, select episodes, 1947-1949)
Dimension X (radio program, select episodes, 1950-1951)
Richard Matheson, I Am Legend (novel, 1954) + I Am Legend (movie, 2007)
The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (movie, 1959)
On the Beach (movie, 1959)
Judge Dredd (select comics from the late 1970s and 2012 movie)
The Walking Dead (select comics and pilot episode of original TV series)
Colson Whitehead, Zone One (novel, 2011)
The Last of Us (videogame, 2013)
Jeff Vandermeer, Borne (novel, 2017)
Blade Runner 2049 (movie, 2017)

Admission settings

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