Engl 197: Simulation & Simulacra

UC Santa Barbara, Winter 2012

Syllabus

January 9: Introduction

Screening of Avalon (Dir. Mamoru Oshii, 2011): Tuesday, January 10, at 7:00pm in SH 2635

The hyperreal
January 11
Discussion of Avalon
Excerpts from Plato, The Republic, Book X [pdf distributed in class]
In-class viewing of clips from The Matrix (Dir. Andy & Lana Wachowski, 1999)

January 16
MLK Day

January 18
Jean Baudrillard, Simulations (1-58)
Recommended reading: Peter Barry on Baudrillard (pp. 87-90) [pdf]

January 23
Slavoj Žižek, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real
In-class viewing of clips from The Thirteenth Floor, Dark City, Truman Show, eXistenZ

January 25
Lieven de Cauter, “The Capsule and the Network” [pdf]
Excerpts from Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism [pdf]

January 30
Kazys Varnelis, “The Immediated Now

Alternate realities
February 1

Philip K. Dick, Ubik

February 6
Philip K. Dick, Ubik

February 8
Tom McCarthy, Remainder

February 13
Tom McCarthy, Remainder

Historical simulations
February 15

Excerpts from John L. Casti, Would-Be Worlds (“Reality Bytes”) [pdf]
Excerpts from Peter S. Jenkins, “Historical Simulations: Motivational, Ethical, Legal Issues” [pdf]
Rome Reborn
Sistine Chapel
Real estate roller coaster
Democracy Island
Simulation of attack on WTC
Sitsims from University of Oslo
Virtuelle Mauer / ReConstructing the Wall [demo video]

February 20
Presidents Day

Avatars, second lives, and puppets
February 22
Lauren Beukes, Moxyland

February 27
Second Life: create an avatar and explore; more guidance will be provided in class.
Life 2.0
(screening Monday evening, 7:00pm, SH 2635)
Excerpts from Edward Castronova, Synthetic Worlds [pdf]
Paul Sermon, Liberate Your Avatar
My Virtual Life,” Business Week (May 2006)
Virtual pets: Tamagotchi, Nintendogs

February 29
Robert Venditti, Surrogates
Ghost in the Shell
(Dir. Mamoru Oshii, 1995) [screening date TBD]

Virtual war
March 5: Simulation, anticipation & security
Samuel Nunn, “Tell Us What’s Going to Happen: Information Feeds to the War on Terror” [pdf]

March 7
America’s Army (and Virtual Army Experience™) | Full Spectrum Warrior [information only] | SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALS | OLIVE – On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment [view demo]
Excerpts from Tim Lenoir and Henry Lowood, “Theaters of War: The Military-Entertainment Complex” [pp. 25-38]
James Der Derian, “The simulation triangle: In the simulated battlefields of tomorrow, war has more in common with Disneyworld than the Pentagon,” Critical Practices in International Theory [pdf]

Control & counter-simulations
March 12: Virtual strikes

Anne-Marie Schleiner, Velvet Strike
Joseph DeLappe, dead-in-Iraq and The Salt Satyagraha Online
IBM virtual strike
Gone Gitmo
The Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos

March 14
Gamer (Dir. Neveldine and Taylor, 2009) [on reserve in Kerr Hall learning lab]

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