Email all work for the course to me at

Fall 2020

LIT 4930

Section 042G

☞ P.oeS.crypts

M W F 3

Officially in MAT 0115 (but actually on Zoom)

Email all work for the course to me at

MWF Period 3

Office: 4314 Turlington Hall 

LINK to LIVE GRADING and Office Hours: M W F 10:35-11:15, and by appointment.


Class Schedule

Course Description

Course Requirements

A and B Below are Due the Day Before Each M and W Class by 5:00 p.m.:

A. Two Discussion Questions


First Paper

Co-Leading Class

M W F Period 3

UF Class Period Times

Firstpaper due September 14

Professor Richard Burt

Please email me only to send me class assignments. Otherwise, please talk to me in person after (not before) class or during office hours.

Office: 4314 Turlington Hall

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:35-11:15, and by appointment

The current version of this website is the binding one, if you are taking this course.

Email all work for the course to me at

Google translate

"At these words a vague and half-formed conception of the meaning of Dupin flitted over my mind. I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without power to comprehend --as men, at times, find themselves upon the brink of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember."




Course Policies

Live Grading

Paper Guidelines

Slow Mots Reading 

Elite Civility

Trickle Down Feminism

What is neoliberalism?




LINK to LIVE GRADING and Office Hours: M W F 10:35-11:15, and by appointment.

Thank you to my son, Wiley Burt, for these Poe images.

One of the most important books on a chapter of American History you never ever knew about:

Eric Foner Reconstruction-Americas-Unfinished-Revolution

Eric Foner, "Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?"

History Workshop, Spring, 1984, No. 17 pp. 57-80

Guy J. Williams, "Harkness Learning: Principles of a Radical American Pedagogy"

Harkness table

Various first words

"Music is the space between the notes."

--Claude Debussy or Miles Davis

King Kong Theory by Virginie Despentes

Barbara Johnson, "The Frame of Reference: Poe, Lacan, Derrida," Yale French Studies, 1977, No. 55/56, Literature and Psychoanalysis. The Question of Reading: Otherwise (1977), pp. 457-505

Who is supposed to find this video funny? JOE BIDEN: ACCEPTABLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES Steve Buscemi narrates this short film 8/20/2020

Joe Biden

CLOSE READ Jason Farago, "Seeing Our Own Reflection in the Birth of the Self-Portrait" Sept. 25, 2020



"Don't Be a Sucker" (1943 / 1947)

Shant Mesrobian gives an illuminating account of the authoritarian Biden voter's contempt for progressives starting at 54:02 and ending at 56:32. The entire interview is worth a listen.

"In Amazon’s Bookstore, No Second Chances for the Third ReichThe retailer once said it would sell “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Now it has banished objectionable volumes — and agreed to erasing the swastikas from a photo book about a Nazi takeover." New York Times Feb. 9, 2020

Shockproof (dir. Douglas Sirk,1949) Opening Sequence and the reveal; see also the first five minutes of Hitchcock's Marnie

Edward Snowden: How Your Cell Phone Spies on You

'All-American Nativism' with Dan Denvir, Part I

The City And The Sea, Edgar Allan Poe, Deborah Harry And The Jazz Passengers

Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe

Lou Reed discusses The Raven

The Raven (Live) by Lou Reed

"We had expected the great world-dominating nations of white race upon whom the leadership of the human species has fallen, who were known to have world-wide interests as their concern, to whose creative powers were due not only our technical advances towards the control of nature but the artistic and scientific standards of civilization - we had expected these people to succeed in discovering another way of settling misunderstandings and conflicts of interest. Within each of these nations there prevailed high norms of moral conduct for the individual, to which his manner of life was bound to conform if he desired to take part in a civilized community. . . .

A human being is seldom altogether good or bad; he is usually 'good' in one relation and 'bad' in another, or 'good' in certain external circumstances and in others decidedly 'bad'. It is interesting to find that the pre-existence of strong 'bad' impulses in infancy is often the actual condition for an unmistakable inclination towards 'good' in the adult. Those who as children have been the most pronounced egoists may well become the most helpful and self-sacrificing members of the community; most of our sentimentalists, friends of humanity and protectors of animals have been evolved from little sadists and animal-tormentors.

Sigmund Freud Thoughts for the Times on War and Death (1915)

Now that the TV show COPS has been cancelled, it should be replaced by a show called STOPPED. Each episode of STOPPED would show iphone videos of black people who have been murdered by police or who have talked their way out of an illegal stop with guns drawn by cops. Payment for videos that haven't gone viral but can be posted after the show airs. Copyright belongs to the original video recorder.




These Scholars Denounced the Police


"What a stupid f***ing way to have a really important conversation": Reflections on a Yearlong White Fragility Training

Trump bans 'anti-American' diversity training - BBC News

Zaid Jilani EXPLAINS: Trump Declares War On Critical Race Theory

What if slavery never ended? What is slavery became prison labor first in chain gangs and then in mass incaceration? What if the Thirteenth Amendment failed to emancipate African-Americans?

Sister Souljah - The Final Solution; Slavery's Back In Effect

Sister Souljah moment


The 1619 Project - The New York Times

The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States (the 1619 part is wrong.)

I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me.Scholars are eviscerating The New York Times' 1619 Project

Conservatives rail against New York Times 1619 Project on ...

Trump warns schools teaching 1619 Project 'will not be funded'

from Thomas Mann, Doktor Faustus, trans. John Wood, p. 63


A Black Marxist Scholar Wanted to Talk About Race. It Ignited a Fury.


So much for "representation":

Melania Trump touts husband's record on women


 Jed Rubenfeld, "Mishandling Rape," Nov. 15, 2014

Yale Law Professor [Jed Rubenfeld] Is Suspended After Sexual Harassment Inquiry

The Never-ending Story of Men and Women Laura Kipnis 2016


Algorithms rule us all - VPRO documentary - 2018

Cybertopia - Dreams of Silicon Valley - Docu - 2015

The financial brain of the London City - Docu - 2013


HyperNormalisation: A new film by Adam Curtis 


2012: When I Knew My Job Was Over (Time Stamp 1:50)

Exercise and Depression "When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain."

Left Behind America 9/11/2018 

Jeff Bezos’s “Montessori, Inc.” Sets Up the Ed-Tech Takeover of Pre-K

Immanuel Kant, Essay on the Maladies of the Head 

"Reading closely means reading in slow-mots."


The Humanities After Covid-19

Joe Biden


Harun Farocki – Cinema, Video Games and Finding the Detail | TateShots

'All-American Nativism' with Dan Denvir, Part I

The Secret History of Fort Detrick, the CIA’s Base for Mind Control Experiments

Today, it’s a cutting-edge lab. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was the center of the U.S. government’s darkest experiments.


CIA Director Mike Pompeo "We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal" September 15, 2019

Gallery of Anti-Populism

Chris Hedges Speaks to Dahr Jamail about The Climate Emergency - Feb 2019

Cancel culture 

Slavoj Žižek on "They Live" 

They Live (1988) - Seeing the Truth Scene




and updated by Philip Glass in Koyaanisqatsi part 1/9


A Letter on Justice and Open Debate July 7, 2020



The Bellows in Conversation with Adolph Reed and Walter Benn Michaels

Why do Reed and Michaels think contemporary anti-racism is racism? What is the problem with i"ntersectionality," in ther interview? What is political economy? Why is capitalism the problem? L

Listen to Stewart Lee and Niel Gaiman talk about writing

You already know how: Mr Robot ending S4E10: 410

Happy ending or sad ending?  Dom and Darlene are going to go to Budapest, then Dom changes her mind and decides not to go, then Darlene does not use her
ticket and does not board the plane.  Cross cutting as Dom runs back to the gate.  Music by Carly Rae Jepsen, "Run Away
with Me" on E.Mo.Tion album   Darlene is in the bathroom having a panic attack.  So you think it's going to be a happy
ending.  But last shot reveals the empty seat next to Dom that was assigned to Darlene.  Music
still playing.

So students.  You already know how to read by genre.  Happy ending? Darlene calming down
and saying to herself in the mirror "I can take care of myself." Or disappointment at the apparent happy ending withheld until the last shot of Dom on the flight alone.

Anthony Burgess on the novel

The use of the forest as a metaphor for thinking. Rene Descartes says you should go in a straight from wherever you are if you are lost. Martin Heidegger uses the pathmark and timber trails you follow in the forest knowing that many times you will run into a dead end. For Descartes the forst metaphor is merely illustrative, an anaology. For Heidegger, you are always on the way, on a path, and you never get to a clearing in the forest but you never get out of the forest.

"In entitling his work Holzwege, literally, “Timber Tracks,” or “Forest Paths,” Heidegger chose a term that carefully balances positive and negative implications. On the one hand, a Holzweg is a timber track that leads to a clearing in the forest where timber is cut. On the other, it is a track that used to lead to such a place but is now overgrown and leads nowhere. Hence, in a popular German idiom, to be “on a Holzweg” is to be on the wrong track or in a cul-de-sac."

"--Young, Preface to Off the Beaten-Track

Sometimes an apparent dead end can become a clearing.

Here is Descartes:

Rene Descartes, Part Three of Discourse on the Method

Martin Heidegger writes that thinking can't go in a straight line, that thinking is always circular.

"It's policy." No exceptions. (No sovereignty either.) [Dark/Web] episode 7 (2019)

Wagner au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Mozart au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Beethoven au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Bach au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Schubert au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Tchaïkovsky au cinéma - Blow Up - ARTE

Michael Kiwanuka - Cold Little Heart

Big Little Lies: Season 1 Opening Credits | HBO

Climate Change: what do you want me to say?

Adam Ruins Everything - Why Billionaire Philanthropy is Not So Selfless | truTV

Sandy Hook Promise 'Back-to-School' PSA

Sandy Hook Promise: Gun violence warning signs

Direct Knowledge (Information; myth) vs. Oblique Knowledge ([Deniable] Analogy; Philosophy and Literature)

Kevin Baker, "The Deep State of Dementia" From the September 2019 issue pdf

"First of all, they're all psychopaths."


Cardi B: I Became a Stripper to Escape Domestic Violence

Agnotology: Culturally Constructed Ignorance Wins the Day 
By Barry Ritholtz

"The company eagerly cultivates an academic aura, and the facility is
referred to as its “campus.” The campus bookstore sells dozens of
business books, of the kind ubiquitous in airport newsstands. Typical
selections included The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle:
How to Become a Servant Leader (featuring a jacket blurb from the
Senior Vice President of Operations for Chik-fil-a) and Leading with
Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit. Alas, they did not have my
favorite managerial tome of all time, If Harry Potter Ran General
Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World Of Wizards, which is a
genuine, honest-to-God book that you can look up and purchase."

Please don't be hard on your grad student teachers:

Why adjunct professors are struggling to make ends meet

Btw, don't even think of going to graduate school to get a Ph.D in English--or any other kind of--literature.

ANDREW KAY," Academe's Extinction Event: Failure, Whiskey, 
and Professional Collapse at the MLA," May 10, 2019

Back in the MLA

Stephen Marche, a survivor of academia, returns to a troubled field

Dan Cohen, "The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper: University libraries around the world are seeing precipitous declines in the use of the books on their shelves" The Atlantic May 2019

Mueller Testimony

IF AMERICANS KNEW - TRAILER 1 hour, abridged version of censored Al Jazeera documentary exposing the Israel lobby in the U.S.

LP - Lost On You [Official Video]

Judith Herman, Healing the Incest Wound

Heirich von Kleist, "On the Gradual Production of Thoughts Whilst Speaking"

STEAM, not STEM (The "A" stands for "Arts," as in Liberal Arts.)

If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love

How to Think Like Shakespeare

Missing UF Faculty (mostly from English)

Thinking of Going to Law School?

Feminists clash over strip club industry – as dancers protest to save jobs


Fables of School Reform

Hamlet, In Our Time Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the inspiration for Shakespeare's Hamlet, the play's context and meaning, and why it has fascinated audiences from its first performance.

The Best Years Of Our Lives 1946 music and image

domed bookshelf

Gada/Talking Heads (1980)

William Wordsworth, THE PRELUDE 



  There are in our existence spots of time,
          That with distinct pre-eminence retain
          A renovating virtue, whence--depressed                     210
          By false opinion and contentious thought,
          Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
          In trivial occupations, and the round
          Of ordinary intercourse--our minds
          Are nourished and invisibly repaired;
          A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced,
          That penetrates, enables us to mount,
          When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen.

I remember well,

          That once, while yet my inexperienced hand

          Could scarcely hold a bridle, with proud hopes

          I mounted, and we journeyed towards the hills:

          An ancient servant of my father's house

          Was with me, my encourager and guide:                      230

          We had not travelled long, ere some mischance

          Disjoined me from my comrade; and, through fear

          Dismounting, down the rough and stony moor

          I led my horse, and, stumbling on, at length

          Came to a bottom, where in former times

          A murderer had been hung in iron chains.

          The gibbet-mast had mouldered down, the bones

          And iron case were gone; but on the turf,

          Hard by, soon after that fell deed was wrought,

          Some unknown hand had carved the murderer's name.          240

          The monumental letters were inscribed

          In times long past; but still, from year to year

          By superstition of the neighbourhood,

          The grass is cleared away, and to this hour

          The characters are fresh and visible:

          A casual glance had shown them, and I fled,

          Faltering and faint, and ignorant of the road:

          Then, reascending the bare common, saw

          A naked pool that lay beneath the hills,

          The beacon on the summit, and, more near,                  250

          A girl, who bore a pitcher on her head,

          And seemed with difficult steps to force her way

          Against the blowing wind.


Claudio Arrau Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 32 

Mitsuko Uchida Masterclass  Comparing Beethoven N.4 in G Major and Mozart’s K. 503

Satie Vexations Complete non-stop performance ( 9.41 hours ) by Nicolas Horvath

Erik Satie - Tapisserie en fer forgé

Alain Badiou, The True Life

SENIORS FOR STUDENTS, Richard Burt, President

Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1872 Anti-Education Harper's Magazine

Alexandre Kojeve, "Chapter 2 Summary of the First Six Chapters of the Phenomenology of Spirit" in Introduction to the Reading of Hegel 

At Berkeley (dir. Frederick Wiseman, 2013)

Philosopher Ray Monk: why I went vegan

‘If we cut out meat and dairy, we would all live longer, healthier, happier lives’

Left Behind America 9/11/2018 

Jeff Bezos’s “Montessori, Inc.” Sets Up the Ed-Tech Takeover of Pre-K

Exercise and Depression

"When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain."

This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America (2018)

Close Listening 

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music

"Teach us to care and not to care"

by T S Eliot

Stewart Lee on UKIP

Larry David Curb Your Enthusiasm (2017) | HBO

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (2018)

Look for the Helpers. --Fred Rogers

Songs which begin before they begin

The snare drum. The Letter Boxtops

Avalon Roxy Music

Peter Gabriel In Your Eyes

John McGlaughlin in Bitches Brew 

The Who - The Kids Are Alright

austerity fails.mp4

 , "Writing About Jews" (DEC, 1963)

U.S. Banks Are Terrified of Chinese Payment Apps

Theodor Adorno, " Behind the Mirror" in Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life

To understand how I have designed and planned this course, please be sure to look at

P.K. Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975) 

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, "Scrips and Scribbles," MLN, Vol. 118, No. 3, German Issue (Apr., 2003), pp. 622-636.

John Law, After Method: Mess in Social Science Research Routledge, 2004

Consider everything I say as parts of the contents of a time capsule from long ago that has yet to be opened, much kess indexed and archived.

Katha Pollitt, "Roe Isn’t Going Down Without a Fight," May 2019

Commencement Speeches From Out Of Touch Celebrities 2019

Dr Van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Academic Time circa 2000: Dr. Judith Lewis Herman, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Harvard ... joins UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler 

Not a very good take:

The Americanization of Popular Culture Should Terrify Us All

A very good take:

Why Netflix and Amazon Algorithms Are Destroying the Movies

Hillary Clinton Says the ‘Future is Female’


Sorry to Bother You (dir. Boots Riley, 2018)

"The Future is Female Ejaculation" (It is against the law in Australia.)