May 6th, and for May 13th/15th

In class on May 6th, we checked out:

  • Some clips from the TV program Rome and from Flags of Our Fathers
  • the Scottish rock group Belle & Sebastian’s song I Fought in a War, and we’re going to discuss the kinds of ideas we have about soldiers and warfare. I gave you a handout with the lyrics, which are available here. You can hear the song here… but the video doesn’t fit at all. In fact, the reason the video and the song don’t go together actually will help you to understand my lecture better!
  • We looked at Kipling as well. The handout is here.

We also shifted gears and start talking about another archetype, opposites of the Soldier/Man of Action — the Outlaw and the Rebel. We’ll see how far we get with that.

I’m going to be asking you to watch one film for next week’s lecture — Pirates of the Caribbean — and to listen to a three-part radio-documentary on pirates from the BBC World Service (part 1 | part 2 | part 3).

And please check out this essay on pirates, American culture, and pirate-fashion: Skulls & Crossbones: America’s Consumptions of Pirate Symbolism.

For May 15th, make sure you have watched two episodes from Season 1 of The Sopranos, plus the film The Silence of the Lambs.

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