Fragments of Identities
in North American Postmodern Fiction and Film
Wenchi Lin and Kate Liu
'Who are you?' said the caterpiller.

Alice replied rather shyly, 'I -- I hardly know, Sir, just at present -- at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.'"

Alice's puzzle over her self-identity can never compare with ours today, which are constantly challenged by the theories, cultural products, technological innovations, political changes as well as natural disasters in postmodern society. How do North American postmodern fictions and films respond to this overwhelming sense of unstable identities, which are seen as split, fragmentary, hybrid, imaginary, or temporary?

In this course, we will divide this issue of identity into 5 interrelated topics, and for each category we (tentatively) select the films and fictions as follows:

  1. Artist and Author-ity:
  1. Media, Popular Culture and Ethnic Identity
  1. History, Memory and Identity:
  1. Cyborg, Machine, Animal and Human Identity
  1. Fragments and Reconstructions
  • Requirements: