07 Theme Parks and National Identity

Since we have the first review next week, we will not have time to discuss the readings. So please write your response paper only on the film,The World (2004) by director Zhang Ke Jia, streamed on My Courses, and the readings are now optional. We will come back to some of the ideas in these readings in the coming weeks. And I hope that Zhang’s film will be inspirational for your own creative work.

The World (2004) by director Zhang Ke Jia [This is a famous feature film on lives of workers in a theme park. Streamed on MyCourses].

Anagnost, Ann. “The Nationscape.” In National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China, 161-176. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.

Errington, Shelly. “The Cosmic Theme Park of the Javanese.” In The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress, 188-227. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Raz, Aviad E. “Receptions of TDL Disney.” In Riding the Black Ship: Japan and Tokyo Disneyland, Harvard East Asian Monographs; 173, 156-191. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center: Distributed by Harvard University Press, 1999.

06 Theme Parks & Media Conglomerates

Please, submit your reading response by March 14, 4 pm (24 hrs before class) based on the following readings by Davis and Sorkin:

Davis, Susan G., “Another World: Theme Parks and Nature.” In Spectacular Nature: Corporate Culture and the Sea World Experience, 19-39. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Sorkin, Michael. “See you in Disneyland.” In Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, 205-232. 1st ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1992.

This reading is now optional: Frantz, Douglas, and Catherine Collins. “Prologue,” “The Cult of the Mouse, “Back to the Future” and “Citizen Disney.” In Celebration, U.S.A.: Living in Disney’s Brave New Town, 5-81. 1st Owl Books ed. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2000.

05 Amusement and Distraction

Please, submit your reading response by March 07, 4 pm (24 hrs before class) based on the following readings and film:

Coney Island: The American Experience (1991), dir. Ric Burns, streamed on MyCourses [to be viewed before class]

Kasson, John F. Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century, American Century Series, 11-55. New York: Hill & Wang, 1978.

Koolhaas, Rem. “Coney Island: The Technology of the Phantastic.” In Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, 29-77. New York: Monacelli Press, 1994.

Kracauer, Siegfried. “Cult of Distraction: On Berlin’s Picture Palaces.” In The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays, edited by Thomas Y. Levin, 323-28. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995.

04 Immersion and Voyeurism

Please submit your response based on the following readings by Feb 28th 4 pm. Thanks!

Schwartz, Vanessa R. “Cinematic Spectatorship before the Apparatus: The Public Taste for Reality in Fin-De-Siécle Paris.” In Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, edited by Leo Charney, 297-319. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Sandberg, Mark B. “Effigy and Narrative: Looking into the Nineteenth-Century Folk Museum.” In Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, edited by Leo Charney and Vanessa R. Schwartz, 320-361. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Eco, Umberto. “Travels in Hyperreality (1975).” In Travels in Hyper Reality: Essays, 1-58. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.

03 Exhibitionary Complex

Please post your response as a “comment” for this post, and submit it by Feb 14, 4 pm. It will be based on the following readings:

Bennett, Tony. “The Exhibitionary Complex.” The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics, 59-88. London; New York: Routledge, 1995.

Shaw, Wendy M. K. “Parallel Collections of Weapons and Antiquities.” and “The Rise of the Imperial Museum.” In Possessors and Possessed: Museums, Archaeology, and the Visualization of History in the Late Ottoman Empire, 45-107. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.

02 Pleasure Gardens, Popular Recreation

Please post your response as a “comment” for this post, and submit it by February 7, 4 pm. It will be based on the following readings:

Hamadeh, Shrine. “Public Spaces and Public Order.” In The City’s Pleasures: Istanbul in the Eighteenth Century, 110-138. Washington: University of Washington, 2007.

Harwood, Edward. “Rhetoric, Authenticity, and Reception: The Eighteenth-Century Landscape Garden, the Modern Theme Park, and Their Audiences.” In Theme Park Landscapes: Antecedents and Variations, edited by Terence Young, Robert B. Riley and Dumbarton Oaks., 49-68. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2002.

Allen, Brian. “The Landscape.” In Vauxhall Gardens, edited by T. J. Edelstein, 17-24. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Center for British Art, 1983.

Schenker, Heath. “Pleasure Gardens, Theme Parks, and the Picturesque.” In Theme Park Landscapes: Antecedents and Variations, edited by Terence Young, Robert B. Riley and Dumbarton Oaks., 69-89. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2002.

There may be many references in these readings to people and place names you are not familiar with. Do not dwell on them, and try instead to focus on the main arguments about publicness, socialization, and pleasure. Please note that a response is not a summary of the assigned readings, but your critical evaluation of them.

Miniature Worlds Exhibition! (2009)

On Tuesday Dec 8, 2009, Miniature Worlds (version 1.o, 2009) students welcomed colleagues, professors, and some acquaintances they made in the field at the JNB Center Carriage House Gallery for an exhibition of their films.

Poster designed by Nathaniel Walker.

Carriage House Gallery at the John Nicholas Brown Center

Emily Handlin and Jinsol Park’s King Richard’s Faire


Nathaniel Walker’s ‘An Intimate View’