Mind Games: Reading and Seeing the World
The world’s increased fusion of images, visual arts and personal narratives challenges our minds and can make us feel utterly confused, excited, or even manipulated. Exploring these “mind games” can help us understand human needs, political acts, social realities as well as the workings of our own brain. Can images act as words? Can words act as images? Can photography tell stories? What is a modern tale? And why does it matter? This course studies visual and textual examples of how a particular fusion of elements can provoke particular emotions and actions. We will study examples of texts that cross language, logic and time and tell stories ranging from ecological tragedies to travels across continents, cities or extraordinary experiences. For example, this class will see how form intersects with autobiography, memory and reality. By studying these ways of “reading” and “seeing” the world in the texts for the class we will be asking ourselves if we can recognize the social question they pose and why we feel as we feel when we see them or read them. The texts for the course include novels, films, poems and visual texts by Angel Jovè, Anne Carson, Julio Llamazares, Yoko Tawada, Horacio Castellanos Moya, W.G. Sebald and Abdelkebir Khatibi, among others. We will access several historical contexts and cultures, primarily in 20th and 21st century with a focus on post-WWII and post-1980s globalization.