Group Presentation Sign-Up

Mea culpa. I forgot to circulate the sign-up sheet for group presentations that are scheduled to begin next week in class. How does it work?

On your presentation day, group members present a short clip to the class in a fashion similar to how I do it with the clips on the syllabus. The clip should be somehow related to that day’s topic and should include speaking roles for all of the groups members (and should include light research by all as well).

Since I forgot to bring it up in class, I’m willing to provide a one-time offer to whomever is willing to volunteer to present next Tuesday night – February 28, 2017. The offer? As long as you follow the logistics of the presentation – one or two short clips, all group members participate, and the total time for the presentation doesn’t exceed 10 minutes (without Q&A) – then I will give that group AN AUTOMATIC GRADE OF A for the assignment.

Please email me at if you’re interested in THIS ONE TIME ONLY OFFER! The topic should be the uncanny. The movie, or TV show, or what have you is your choice. Groups should be between 2 and 4 people. [One person can present on their own if they have a great idea for a film that fits the topic.]



2/28: The Uncanny

Please post a question about the assigned readings. Try to give equal time to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Freud’s essay on the uncanny. Be sure to post a few hours before class time so that I can include your ideas as I prepare for discussion.


Pierre Huyghe, Untitled (Human Mask), 2014. Film, color, sound, 19 minutes. Courtesy the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; Hauser & Wirth, London; Esther Schipper, Berlin; and Anna Lena Films, Paris. © Pierre Huyghe.

2/21: Dreams and Transference

Welcome to the course blog. Please read between class sessions. This is where you’ll post your discussion questions and where I’ll post information that pertains to the class.

So, post a question as a comment to this post. It should be in response to the readings for Tuesday’s class – thus the subject line above. You only need to respond to one of the readings and it needs to be in the form of a question aimed at helping generate a class discussion. The question needs to be substantial and needs to engage with ideas in the reading. Keep it short and to the point. You may refer to the reading directly if that helps you formulate an excellent question.

Tip: if you follow this WordPress blog, whenever I post it will send you an email notification.

See you in class Tuesday.



Virtual Class Discussion: Stelarc

This is a requirement for the course. It will affect your final grade if you don’t follow the instructions. Please do so.

1. Watch the clip below. It is a short newsmagazine style piece on Stelarc, the Australian performance artist, as he puts together an installation of his work in Paris (he curses occasionally, so beware). His work deals with modifications of the body as art. I first became aware of his art when I saw one of his body suspensions in the mid-1980s (he hung himself from hooks secured through his flesh – there is a brief video projection of this performance in the gallery at the end of the clip) and it disturbed me but also seemed quite interesting on a formal and conceptual level. Please watch the entire clip – it’s about 14 minutes, then answer the following questions in a comment below.

2. What are the implications of his work in relation to our ideas about the body (and modifications to it)? How does it make you feel? How does it relate to digital culture?

3. Wait a while after posting your response and then comment on two responses by your fellow students.

4. You have 24 hours (until 6 PM Thursday May 22, 2014) to finish your three posts: your comment in response to the clip and your two responses to your fellow students’s comments.

Here’s the clip:

Good luck.


nathalie-granger duras

Final Project Write Up and Submission

Here are the instructions for submitting the final project and the accompanying write up:

By 6:10 PM on Wednesday May 21, 2014, please email me a link to your project (or if its not too large a file, the actual project) and a pdf of your final project write up. The write up should follow MLA style conventions and should be labeled “yourlastname.pdf” (not “final project.pdf” or “yourfirstname.pdf” or “comm163v.pdf”). The write up should be 3 pages in length (double spaced) and should explain how your project relates to what was covered in class (check the syllabus and the blog for reminders if that has slipped your mind – objects, things, systems, etc.). In essence, it is a critical interpretation of your project using ideas developed during the class.

Let me know if you have any questions.