Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Descriptions

GLS 592: Los Angeles: Literary and Filmic Landscapes

Instructor: Elan Durham

hollywood sign in la hills

Los Angeles "land of lotus eaters" has become a mythic place in American consciousness by way of popular literature, literary fiction, essays, and films. All course materials reflect the physical and psychological landscape of a city that sits both on and by the desert, but also borders the Pacific Rim. We will explore these contradictions and divides, by looking at Los Angeles's past and future possibilities in an interdisciplinary seminar environment.

Films viewed in whole or part: Chinatown, Blade Runner, LA Confidential, Sunset Boulevard, Laurel Canyon, Rebel without a Cause, Pulp Fiction, The Player, To Live and Die in LA, and Them.

Required Texts: (updated 3/21/05)

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
Ask the Dust, John Fante
White Oleander, Janet Fitch
In a Lonely Place, Dorothy B. Hughes
Force Majeure, Bruce Wagner
Day of the Locust, Nathanael West

Other materials available on ERES

Requirements: Three brief response papers, one presentation, and one extended paper

Last Update: April 4, 2005