Since the beginning of cinema, the figure of the alien has visited the big screen with its promise of otherworldly wonders and its threat of unthinkable perils. Why do we find the alien movie so alluring? How do we understand theme of alien encounters in relation to the realities of our human world? The figure of the alien in cinema speaks to the complex problems of self and other and often serves as an imbricate metaphor for the dangers, opportunities, and ethical dilemmas attendant to contact with the unknown. This course explores how alien encounters reflect the haunting of historical realities (such European voyages of discovery, conquest, and colonization) as well as contemporary issues, such as international conflict (war or global migration) and the power and perils of emerging technologies (nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, space travel). Likewise, the imagined encounter with an intelligence beyond the bounds of ideological and cultural paradigms throws into illuminating relief the contours and contingencies of prevailing categories of identity.
Special Topics- Alien Encounters
Monday, March 12, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018