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recommendations and quiet

Thanks to everyone who responded to my call for film recommendations. We now have a lovely "must see" list thanks to your suggestions!

Speaking of suggestions, I cannot recommend highly enough the French independent music label Prikosnovenie, which produces "fair and heavenly voices, medieval music, world-tribal and ethnica sounds." If you love the Gothic and/or fantastic, you must listen to some of the Prikosnovenie artists. My personal favorite is the Russian band Caprice, whose albums Elvenmusic, Elvenmusic II: The Evening of Iluvatar's Children, and Elvenmusic III are unique and haunting interpretations of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth. Other bands focus on ancient, medieval, dark, and fantastical sounds.

My classes begin tomorrow. I am teaching three courses.

Two sections of

First-Year Seminar: Knowing Today By Imagining Tomorrow

“We live on a minute island of known things. Our undiminished wonder at the mystery which surrounds us is what makes us human. In science fiction we can approach that mystery, not in small, everyday symbols, but in bigger ones of space and time.”
- Damon Knight

“That's really what SF is all about, you know: the big reality that pervades the real world we live in: the reality of change. Science fiction is the very literature of change. In fact, it is the only such literature we have.”
- Frederik Pohl

*What does it mean to be human?
*How do we know what, if anything, is consistent about the human experience, and what, if anything, is always in flux?
*Is change the only constant we can know?

One way in which each generation seeks an answer to these questions is by imagining its future. The way individuals conceive of tomorrow – technologically, scientifically, ethically, politically, socially, and philosophically – reveals a great deal about their time, culture, and intellectual tools. Such thought experiments tell us much about the people and their various ways of knowing in any given era; such “what if” propositions also provide new perspectives, suggest new avenues of inquiry, and experiment with new ways of knowing, as well.

This section of GND 1015 uses science fiction literature, film, television, art, and audio sources to illustrate and explore different ways of knowing. The class will investigate how Western views of tomorrow have evolved across time due to changes in technology, politics, culture, and the disciplines that shape and analyze each. Students will discover how the genre of science fiction has anticipated the future while reflecting the values, anxieties, issues, and intellectual climate of the present. Ultimately, the course texts, discussions, and assignments will challenge students to consider the question of what it means to be human from a variety of different approaches and viewpoints.

And one section of the upper-division class

The Trail of Tears

This course investigates the historical Trail of Tears and its popular legacy from both U.S. and Native American perspectives, considering the constitutional, political, ideological, social, and cultural issues surrounding the event. Students will consider not only what occurred in the 19th century, but also how its memory lives in 20th- and 21st-century art, film, and literature. The class also will explore relevant local sites such as the Hermitage and the Tennessee State Museum and evaluate how they relate to and communicate the story of the Trail of Tears.

(Note: The latter will work in harmony with the completion of my forthcoming book The Trail of Tears and Indian Removal for Greenwood Press.)

If I am quiet in the near future, it is simply because classes are getting started, and I'm wrapping up this book manuscript.

I'm wishing everyone a great day...

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
I forgot to post
But check out, Dot the I, Happy Endings, Amores Perros, Saint Ralph, Don't Tempt Me, The Saddest Music in the World (Surreal, almost unwatchable, but funny in places and hilarious in retrospect), Saved!, Suicide Club.

In programs:
League of Gentlemen (All Seasons), Father Ted, Wonderfalls (was discoed after the first 4 episodes aired which was insane as this show was so brilliant).

These are my off the beaten path movie selections for now.
Jan. 11th, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: I forgot to post
Ummm, also, any Almodovar movie but specifically La Mala Education. Ok Ok... And just one more that popped into my mind, Love me if you Dare.
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: I forgot to post
Great! *jots notes* Thanks!
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: I forgot to post
Fantastic! I'm going to look up all of these. And squeee - I didn't realize Father Ted was out on DVD. I adored that show. Father Dougal for Pope! ;) I definitely have to revisit that series. Thanks tremendously!
Jan. 11th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'll be thinking of you and all of the coursework/writing you have to do!!! You'll be wonderful, though.

Thinking of you heaps and heaps.
♥ k
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you SO much! You know, I'm incredibly fortunate. My wrist is doing beautifully with all of this writing. I am still seeing my chiropractor and the massage therapist once a month to keep that whole neck/arm/wrist/hand physical therapy going, and that, along with the surgery, has helped tremendously. I can tell now which knuckles have the worst arthritis, but typing doesn't seem to change that discomfort one way or the other. I still can't write by hand for any time at all, but for the first time in years and years, I feel I can type as much and as often as I wish. It's remarkable. I don't mean to be giving you TMI here :), but since you were there through the whole surgery/recuperation bit, and the times I was so glad I could wiggle my fingers, I just had to share.

Thank you SO much for your unflagging encouragement and support. It means a great deal to me!

Thinking of you, too...!
Jan. 11th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
Good luck with school, and the book! Don't get too crazed under all the work!
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Good luck is always appreciated. :)
Jan. 12th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
Lovely quotation you have there :D

Your courses sound quite intriguing-I wish that I could take them myself! Best of luck with the coursework and the book.
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
Lovely quotation you have there :D

Thanks! Leonard Cohen is just a master.

Your courses sound quite intriguing-I wish that I could take them myself! Best of luck with the coursework and the book.

Oh, thank you so much! I'm so pleased you think they sound interesting. I appreciate your kind words.
Jan. 12th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
It's unrelated, but I followed your sn from a comment you left to one of my posts in necronomiphiles, and I hope you don't mind if I add you as a friend. You have some interesting things to say, and as a fellow working laboriously on my own Ph.D. in anthropology and with my interests in weird fiction, I like how you manage to balance your own work in multiple fields.
Jan. 12th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your post! I've also friended you. It's always great to meet others working in parallel fields, especially multiple ones. Thanks for your kind words about my work. I look forward to reading your LJ. Congrats on the article in Lovecraft Studies, by the way. I need to look that up! It sounds like you've made a very interesting connection.
Jan. 12th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
If you're interested, the basics of my argument are here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/miskatonic_u/7684.html With pictures that aren't in the print version.

Anyway, you've written a lot more that I should now go and track down ;)
Jan. 13th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks so much for the link! I'm looking forward to reading your post.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )