Frankenstein: Art and the Body Politic
Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: The Arts
“Listen to my tale; when you have heard that, abandon or commiserate me, as you shall judge that I deserve. But hear me.” The course offers case studies in listening to how the monster speaks, beginning with an in-depth study of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley’s 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. How does the monster speak, and how has its tale been variously re-imagined as that of the robot, the child, the slave, the migrant, the proletariat, Capital, Technology, Nature, the Other, the body in transition, the disabled body, or the work of art itself? We attend to the body of Frankenstein’s Monster—bodies torn apart to be pieced together again—and how it has been imagined anew, such as in Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad (2013), set amid the U.S. Occupation of Iraq, or Cristina Rivera Garcia’s The Iliac Crest (2002), against the backdrop of the signing of NAFTA and the rise of femicide in Mexico. If Frankenstein’s Monster and its new body of parts speaks to the revolutionary attempts to reconfigure the body politic—not only that of the French Revolution but more importantly the Haitian Revolution—we also ask what other methods of inquiry about body politics and its aesthetics are possible. Referring to theories of psychoanalysis, feminism, queer and trans theory, critiques of racial capitalism and colonization, we address how artists worked through the deconstruction of the human body, drawing out the life of its parts, bodying forth the aspiration for a new whole or for the eros of parts that refuse to ever cohere.
College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)
Department: The Arts (ART)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 20
Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 10:34am EDT 9/24/2023