California Dreaming: Religious & Literary Counter-Cultures of Cold War San Francisco
DozentIn: Dr. Devin Zuber, M.A., M. Phil.
Zeiten: Termine am Montag. 20.06.22 - Freitag. 24.06.22 18:00 - 21:00, Samstag. 25.06.22 10:00 - 16:00
Beschreibung: This one-week intensive block seminar surveys the religious and artistic counter-cultures that came to flourish in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1950's and mid-1960's, using the historiographies of new religious movements and spirituality to (re)frame work affiliated with the Beatniks (Jack Kerouac’s novels, Allen Ginsberg’s infamous “Howl”) and the poetry of the Berkeley and San Francisco Renaissances (Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Joanne Kyger, and Gary Snyder). We will explore how the deep spiritual interests of these different figures (which ranged from Buddhism and Hinduism, to forms of neopagan Goddess worship, to native American indigenous cosmologies) became shaped by larger background contexts of the Cold War, and led to the development of a strong poetics of place in and around mid-century San Francisco. Prior to meeting on-site in Osnabrück in June (20.06—24.06) for the evening block seminar, we will conduct two advance Zoom sessions to set the framing for the course and get to know one another (date/times to be determined). Required texts: Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums (Penguin), a short novel which should be read in advance of the first block seminar session; the remainder of the materials (mostly poetry, plus some music and experimental films by Harry Smith) will all be made available online. The last session (24.06) will be a special symposium where students present their ideas for final research projects; interested students can contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance with questions.