Spring 2019

The Confession: Theory and Practice

Listed in: English, as ENGL-477  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-455


Ludia S. Ock (Section 01)
Pooja G. Rangan (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 477 and FAMS 455.)  Confession is arguably central to expressions of postmodern selfhood. It informs the evidentiary logic of our civil apparatuses (legal, medical, humanitarian) and infuses the fabric of our diplomatic, intimate, and public relations. Indeed, we might say that the confession is the preeminent practice through which we understand the “truth” of our selves. This course investigates the relationship between speech, truth, and power through the many meanings and itineraries of the confession. We will focus on various institutions that have shaped confessional regimes of truth (such as the Catholic confessional, psychoanalysis, and torture), as well as the role of media forms (from autobiographical literature to true crime documentary and reality television) in consolidating and challenging these regimes. Assignments include in-class presentation, a midterm essay, and a final research essay. 

Requisite:  Prior coursework in ENGL or FAMS strongly recommended.  Open to juniors and seniors.  Limited to 18 students.  Spring semester.  Professor Rangan.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to junior and senior majors.


Attention to Research, Attention to Speaking


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2015, Spring 2019