Teaching‎ > ‎2010 Herbstsemester‎ > ‎

MA/Liz Seminar: Death in America

M.A. Seminar / Liz Seminar

Death in America

Prof. Elisabeth Bronfen / Prof. Philip Ursprung

Thursday 16-18 Uhr,

Englisches Seminar, Plattenstrasse 47, 1. Stock, Zimmer 102



(1.) 23.9.10 Introduction


(2.) 30.9.10 American Gothic

--- E.A. Poe: "Ligeia" and "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" (OLAT)

--- Elisabeth Bronfen: "Risky Resemblances" in Over Her Dead Body (OLAT)

--- Maurice Blanchot: "Zwei Fassungen des Bildlichen"/ "Two Versions of the Imaginary" (OLAT)


(3.) 07.10.10

--- Guest lecture by Prof. Peggy Phelan (Standford University)


(4.) 14.10.10 The Civil War

--- Walt Whitman: Drum Taps (OLAT)

--- Alexander Gardner: Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War

--- Alan Trachtenberg: "Albums of War" in Reading American Photographs. Images of History Mathew Brady to Walker Evans. (OLAT)


(5.) 21.10.10 The Fallout of the Civil War

--- Without Sanctuary. Lynching photography in America.

--- Susan Sontag: Regarding the Pain of Others (OLAT)


(6.) 28.10.10 Crime Culture

--- *James Ellroy: The Black Dahlia

--- Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder

--- Luc Sante: Evidence


(7.) 04.11.10 WWII

--- *Terence Malick: The Thin Red Line (DVD)

--- Sigmund Freud: "Zeitgemäßes über Krieg und Tod" and "Vergänglichkeit".


(8.) 11.11.10 WWII

--- *Terence Malick: The Thin Red Line


(9.) 18.11.10 Cold War

--- Andy Warhol


(10.) 25.11.10 Postmodern Death

--- *Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho


(11.) 02.12.10 Postmodern Death

--- Mappelthorpe

--- Felix Gonzales-Torres

----David Wojnarowicz

--- Susan Sontag: AIDS and Its Metaphors


(12.) 09.12.10 Post 9/11

--- This is New York

--- Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle

--- Retort (Iain Boal, T.J. Clark, Joseph Mathews, Michael Watts): Afflicted Powers, Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War. (OLAT)


(13.) 16.12.10 Death in Hollywood

--- Guest Lecture by Prof. Ed Dimmenberg (University of California at Irvine)


23.12.10 Yuletide under the Sign of Mortality



--- Books/ Films marked with * must be purchased by each student individually

--- Texts marked with OLAT will be placed on the internet platform for this seminar

-- Written thesis for four sessions. These must be handed in to one of the tutors by Sunday the week before; they will also be placed on OLAT.

--- Participation in one of the two Arbeitsgruppen: a. The Thin Red Line and b. American Psycho


Secondary Texts:


James Allen et. al. Without Sanctuary. Lynching Photography in America. Santa Fe 2010.

Elisabeth Bronfen. Over Her Dead Body. Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic. Manchester/ New York 1992.

Leslie Fiedler. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York 1966.

Alexander Gardner. Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War. New York 1959.

Thomas Macho und Kristin Marek (Hrsg.). Die Neue Sichtbarkeit des Todes. München 2007.

Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss. Exquisite Corpse. Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder. New York 2006.

Barbara P. Norfleet. Looking at Death. Boston 1993.

Jay Ruby. Secure the Shadow. Death and Photography in America. Cambridge, M.A. 1995.

Luc Sante. Low Life. Lures and Snares of Old New York. New York 1991.

--- Evidence. New York 1992.