Uncanny Appearances

University Liberal Arts: University Lecture Program

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

Uncanny Appearances

Spring 2021

Taught By: Jonathan Bach and Lana Lin

Section: B

CRN: 7969

Credits: 3

In 1919 Freud published a wide-ranging essay on the “uncanny,” which he names as an aesthetic quality of feeling that is a special species of fear. Female genital organs, prostheses, automatons, doppelgangers, and haunted houses are uncanny. Today, as new media techniques push the boundary of the uncanny into domains such as Virtual Reality, “fake news,” and data doubles, the uncanny has come to characterize our age of recombination. The uncanny is always bound up with uncertainty as to whether something is an original or a copy, animate or inanimate, alive or dead. It cuts across design, politics, culture, media, literature, and social theory. This course will track the uncanny as the term proliferates across multiple disciplines, from psychoanalysis to socio-cultural analysis, from aesthetics to design methodologies. We will pay special attention to questions that suture the practice of design to the big questions of the humanities: What distinguishes appropriation from innovation? Why do certain forms of reproduction and mimesis seem so perennially unsettling? How are our interactions with humans and non-humans marked by a sense of the foreign-ness of the other, whether that takes place in the individual psyche, the built environment, or the nation-state? We will follow these questions to speculate upon how the uncanny dwells in trauma, infiltrates politics, and reproduces contemporary forms of life. Participation in this seminar will help students identify uncanny trends in their respective fields and/or produce creative work that leverages the uncanny. (Instructor permission required.)

College: University Liberal Arts (UL)

Department: University Lecture Program (ULIB)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Sync Type: N/A

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 5

Add/Drop Deadline: February 1, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: May 10, 2021 (Monday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

*Status information is updated every five 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: 7:27pm 10/20/2020 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 1:55pm - 3:45pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/19/2021 - 5/4/2021