New Course: Underworlds (Fall 2017)

Professor: Leo Goldsmith

Caves, labyrinths, mines, sewers, tunnels, catacombs, burrows, lost worlds: in the popular imaginary, the spaces beneath the surface of the planet have served as literal and metaphorical sites of concealment, subversion, repression, extraction, decay, and fantasy. This course explores these physical and figurative notions of the underground in multiple domains of both media (novels, films, television, and music; science fiction, horror, documentary, and avantgarde) and theory (new materialisms, media archaeology, media ecology, infrastructure studies, “history from below,” psychoanalysis, and conspiracy theories). Through these investigations,
this course will excavate a set of hidden connections between topics as dispersed as: lost world literature, Land Art, criminality, extraction, waste, Hollow Earth theory, concealment and repression, palimpsestic historiography, urban infrastructure, Palestinian subtopography, ancient aliens, sub- and countercultures, the occult, data bunkers, and political resistance.

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