La noche en literature, cine y cultural visual
Will Straw (Professor, Department of Art History and Communications Studies McGill)
University, Montréal, Canada
Websites: willstraw.com; theurbannight.com
Description: In recent years, the night has emerged as a significant focus of research across several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The night has obviously long been a cherished object of contemplation for poets and novelists, and has stimulated rich aesthetic tendencies in such visual or audio-visual fields as film and photography. In recent years, theorists in the social sciences and humanities have directed attention to the political and identitarian status of the night, particularly in cities. Are there populations of the night? May we speak of societies as separated, not simply spatially, but by their division into “temporal communities.” How as the history of illumination affected the aesthetic experience of the night and the cultural forms which engage with nocturnal life?
These are some of the issues we will discuss in class. My intention is to cover a range of issues in the cultural study of night, with particular emphasis on their relevance for cultural forms like cinema, literature and the visual arts. The course will include the showing of a large number of film clips and still images, and students will be asked to read a small number of short literary texts.
Schedule of themes and background readings:
Class One: Introduction to night studies
Class Two: Night forms and night aesthetics
Luc Wgiazdzinski. Extract : “Un territoire peu exploré”. From La Nuit, dernière frontière de la ville. Tour d’Aigues: Editions de l’aube, 2005.
Ithzak Goldberg. « La nuit, un défi pour le peintre. » From Catherine Espinasse, Edith Heurgon and Luc Gwiazdzinski, ed. La nuit en question(s) : Colloque de Cerisy, prospective d’un siècle, 2005.
Alberto Manguel. “The Library as Order.” From The Library at Night, 2008.
Pierre Mac Orlan. Text for Paris vu par André Kertesz (extract). 1934.
Class Three: Identitarian Nightscapes
Marc Armengaud, Matthias Armengaud, Alessandra Cianchetta. Nightscapes/Paisajes nocturnos/Nocturnal Landscapes. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2009.
Elisabeth Bronfen. Extract from Chapter 8 of Night Passages: Philosophy, Literature, and Film. Columbia University Press, 2013.
Mario Margulis. “La culture de la noche.” From La cultura de la noche: la vida nocturna de los jóvenes en Buenos Aires, cap. I, Biblos, Argentina, 1997. pp 11-30 http://www.cholonautas.edu.pe/ Biblioteca Virtual de Ciencias Sociales
Special guest presentation by Susana Vargas Cervantes.
Class Four: Single-Night Narratives
Will Straw. “Chrono-Urbanism and Single-Night Narratives in Film.” Forthcoming in Film Studies, no. 12 (Spring, 2015).
Julio Cortázar. “La noche boca.” Short story. 1956.