About the Course
This course develops a psychoanalytically inclined approach to film and photography centered on both media’s (non)relation to motion and stillness. We’ll begin with the Eleatics, specifically Zeno and his Paradoxes, to analyze the Möbius strip-like character of motion in stillness that photography desires, as well as the stillness in motion that film wants. The two forms, we’ll see, meet at a chiasmatic X that marks the spot of a void/jointure developed by Roland Barthes in his Camera Lucida. We’ll move to Walter Benjamin’s theory of film and photography, elaborated in his Arcades Project, specifically in his analyses of Eugene Atget’s photographs. Then we’ll study Eadweard Muybridge’s positional arrests of motion so influential on Francis Bacon’s painterly practice, informed by a singular relation to photography and serialized images. We’ll see Cindy Sherman’s ‘Unfinished Film Stills’ as an entry to watching a lot of film, including Hitchcock’s and his attention to the close-up, Antonioni’s Italian neo-realist films, Imamura Shohei’s filmic capture of stillness ‘off-screen’ - through absence, and Michael Snow’s ‘slow’ experimental film. We’ll conclude by reanimating Passolini’s critique of the ‘long shot’ with, for one, Kiarostami’s rebuttal.
About the Professor
Rohit Goel is Director/Professor of the Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR). He is the co-editor of Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Sex, Politics (Bloomsbury) and has taught courses in critical theory, historiography, and politics at the University of Chicago, Sciences Po Paris, the American University of Beirut, and Jnanapravaha Mumbai. Rohit received the Fulbright IIE and Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) fellowships to pursue years of Arabic language study in Syria and was awarded the Fulbright DDRA and Andrew C. Mellon Fellowship for PhD dissertation research in primary sources in Lebanon. He completed his BA from Harvard College and, as Harvard University’s Paul Williams Fellow to Emmanuel College, was granted an MPhil in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Students will receive a Certificate of Completion upon successful attendance of a course or a Certificate of Completion and Letter of Evaluation if they successfully attend and complete the final assignment. Those who complete three courses (attendance and writing) in the Praxis track over two calendar years are eligible for a BICAR Diploma in Praxis.
We will refund your mode of payment — minus a 25% processing fee — if you choose not to take this course after the first session. Or, you can ‘roll over’ your balance to another or future BICAR course without a fee deduction.
Our website payment portal will be up and running soon; till then, we can facilitate two modes of payment – either direct bank transfer to our Indian account for students registering from here in India or we also have a PayPal link for students registering from abroad.
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