English 6650-7650

Special Topics

in Popular Culture:

Spring 2009 | R 240-540, PH 308

David Lavery | Course Requirements | TextsLost Websites | Lost Writers & Directors | Television Websites | Agenda | Character/Book Assignments | Television Glossary | Power Points

A comprehensive examination of the television series and worldwide cultural phenomenon Lost (ABC, 2004-2010), this seminar will not only investigate the text itself—the four existing seasons plus a fifth, penultimate one airing during the course of the course itself—but the industry, economic, technological, and cultural forces that generated it. The nature of television authorship, narratology, reader/viewer response criticism, genre, convergence culture, multi-platform storytelling, fandom, Lost's ancestor and paratexts, media influences, philosophical and religious sources and implications—all will be on the table as well.

Dr. David Lavery

Office: PH 372 | Office Hours:  8:00-1100, TR; other times by arrangement | E-mail: david.lavery@gmail.com | Office Phone/Voice-Mail: 615-898-5648 | Home Page: http://davidlavery.net

Dr. David Lavery is Professor of English at MTSU (1993- ). The author of over one hundred published essays, chapters, and reviews, he is author / co-author / editor / co-editor of sixteen books, including Joss: A Creative Portrait of the Maker of the Whedonverses and The Essential Cult Television Reader. The organizer of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Sopranos, a founding co-editor of the journals Slayage: The Online International Journal of Buffy Studies and Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany) and has been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), The Toronto Star, USA Today. From 2006-2008, he taught at Brunel University in London.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Critical Essay: An essay of not less than 2,000 words on a particular Lost episode. | 30%

Major Paper: A source paper of not less than 4,000 words on a subject approved by me. Possible broad topics include: Lost and narratology | character | ancestor texts | paratexts | genre | fandom | cinematography | music | Lost enigmas | Lost and the internet | Lost and convergence culture | Lost as multi-platform text | a study of a Lost director | a study of a Lost writer | 50%

Class Participation: In addition to involvement in the weekly discussion of readings and screenings, each member of the class will 1) become a "resident expert" on a key Lost character--Jack, Sayid, Locke, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Ben, Juliet, Desmond, Charlie, Sun, Eko--serving throughout as a resource in class discussion; 2) report on an ancestor text or book on the island (see Agenda for possible choices). | 20%

 

TEXTS

A CD

 containing

a

 variety of

 readings on

  Lost

Hereafter UL  Hereafter LBT  Hereafter RL  Hereafter CD 

 

WEBSITES AND RESOURCES  

The ABCs of Lost Ajira Airways 108 Lost Characters You Need to Know
ABC Official Site

Bierce Stories: "Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge | "The Damn Thing" | "A

 Psychological Shipwreck"

DocArzt and Friends Lost Blog

The Fuselage

Hulu: Lost Episodes

Jeff Jensen's Interactive Blast Door Map (Entertainment Weekly)

Lost Blog

Lost Book Club

Lost DVDs Special Features

Lost Episode Guide

Lost Experience

Lost Fanfic Website: One | TwoThree

Lost Media

Lost Questions without Answers

Lostpedia

Lost Spoilers

Lost-TV.com

Oceanic Airlines

On Point (NPR Show) on Lost

Onion AV Club Interview with Lindelof & Cuse

Lynnette Porter's Blog

Society for the Study of Lost

The Tail Section

Television Without Pity Lost Recaps

Totally Lost (Entertainment Weekly)

TVgasm's Lost Page

TV Guide Lost Site

Wikipedia Entry

 

POWER POINTS

Lost Characters The Magic Box The Genesis of Lost
Television Creativity Lost and Genre Lord of the Flies
Fandom D3 and Lost Is There a Text on This Island?
Time Travel Media Ancestry  A Wrinkle in Time
Religion & Philosophy in Lost

 

WRITERS & DIRECTORS

All links to the IMDB

WRITERS

J. J. Abrams

Carlton Cuse

Leonard Dick

Paul Dini

Brent Fletcher

David Fury

Karen Gaviola

Drew Goddard

Javier Grillo-Marxuach

Adam Horowitz

Jennifer Johnson

Dawn Robertson Kelly

Christine M. Kim

Edward Kitsis

Damon Lindelof

Lynne E. Litt

Steven Maeda

Gregory Nations

Monica Owusu-Breen

Kyle Pennington

Jeff Pinkner

Matt Ragghianti Jordan Rosenberg

Elizabeth Sarnoff

Alison Schapker

Janet Tamaro Christian Taylor

Melinda Hsu Taylor

Brian K. Vaughan

Craig Wright

Michael Zinberg    

 

DIRECTORS

J. J. Abrams

Daniel Attias

Paris Barclay

Matt Earl Beesley

Jack Bender

Adam Davidson

Roxann Dawson

Paul A. Edwards Tucker Gates
Marita Grabiak

David Grossman

Rod Holcomb

Kevin Hooks

Eric Laneuville

Robert Mandel
Bobby Roth

Dean Sarafian

Frederick E. O. Toye

Stephen Williams Greg Yaitanes  

 

TELEVISION WEBSITES

A Brief & Incomplete TV Glossary Brilliantbutcancelled.com Critical Studies in Television
Encyclopedia of Television Futon Critic Jump the Shark
Nik at Night The Onion TV Club Television Auteurs
Television without Pity TV.COM TV Guide.com
TV Guide Show Blogs TV Worth Watching  

 

AGENDA

Wk.

Date

Subject

Reading

Screening

Course Requirements

1

1/15

Intro to the Course

Pearson, "Why Lost" (RL) [to be read when the book comes in] 

"Lost in 8:15"; "The Pilot"

 

2

1/22

Lost Characters: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin, Claire, Eko, Julet, Daniel, Miles, Shannon

UL Appendices A, B, C; Pearson, "Chain of Events" (RL); Newbury, "Lost in the Orient" (RL) [to be read when the book comes in] 

"Walkabout"

 

3

1/29

Lost Locke, Hurley, Charlie, Sun, Juliet, Ana-Lucia, Ben, Michael, Charlotte, Boone

UL Appendices A, B, C; Davis and Needham, "Queer(ying) Lost" (RL); Gray, "We're Not in Portland Anymore" (RL) [to be read when the book comes in]

"Exodus," I, II

 

4

2/5

Lost and the Desperate Networks

Selection from Carter, Desperate Networks (CD); UL Part 1; Abbott, "How Lost Found Its Audience" (RL); Grainge, "Lost Logos" (RL); Stringer, "The Gathering Place" (RL) [to be read when the book comes in]' Craig, "The Man Who Discovered Lost"

"Man of Science, Man of Faith"

 

5

2/12

Lost and Television Authorship

UL Part 1; LBT Ch. 7

"The Other 48 Days"

 

6

2/19

Lost's Genre | Lost as Cult Television

UL Part 4; Ndalianis, "Lost Genre" (RL); Brooker, "Television Out of Time" (RL)

"Live Together, Die Alone," I, II

Report on Lord of the Flies (Leavens)

7

2/26

The Lost Fandom

Mittell, "Lost in an Alternative Reality" (CD); Johnson, "The Fictional Institutions of Lost" (RL)

"A Tale of Two Cities"

Report on Alice in Wonderland (Williams)

8

3/5

Lost and Narrative

Mittell, "Narrative Complexity"; Sconce, "What If"; Lavery, "Lost and LTTVN" (CD); Mittell, "Lost in a Good Story" (RL); Bernier, "A Fabricated Africanist Persona" (RL)

"Flashes Before Your Eyes"

 

Spring Break

9

3/19

Lost Enigmas

Lavery, "The Island's Greatest Mystery"; Millman, "Game Theory" (CD); Askwith, "Do You Even Know" (RL)

"The Man from Tallahassee"

Report on The Invention of Morel (Stevenson) | Critical Essay Due

10

3/26

Lost Ancestor Texts

LBT "Ancestor Texts"; Lavery, "Is There a Text on This Island?" (CD)

"The Man Behind the Curtain"

Report on The Drawing of the Three (Chapman)

11

4/2

Lost Books on the Island

LBT "Books on the Island"

"Through the Looking Glass," I & II

 

12

4/9

Lost Media Ancestors

LBT "Must See TV & Essential Movies"

Lost and Time Travel Website

"The Constant"

Report on A Wrinkle in Time (Bryant)

13

4/16

Lost and Religion/Philosophy

UL Parts 2 & 3; LBT Ch. 4

"The Shape of Things to Come"

Report on The Stand (Cain)

14

4/23

Lost and the Future of Television

Pearson, "Lost in Transition" (CD)

"There's no Place Like Home," I & II

Report on Catch-22 | Major Paper Due

15

5/1

The Lost Finale