HC421H - Slime and Sliminess

Professor: Christopher Michlig

4.00 credits

  • CRN 12453: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00-11:50am @ CHA 301

What is slime? We are well acquainted with its qualities in conjunction with certain things from which we tend to recoil but to which we are also at times fervently attracted. Despite being everywhere, slime is a surprisingly unexamined topic. Slime and Sliminess is an interdisciplinary, cultural and scientific deep-dive into the significance of “slime” and “sliminess,” with particular emphasis on precedents in pop-culture, science and ecology, contemporary art, science fiction, literature, critical theory, and cinema. Slime can be characterized as a pervasive, oozing, cultural phenomenon, and this course will examine instances of slime’s evolving representations and meaning, ranging from philosopher Jean Paul Sartre’s meditation on the aberrant substance in his 1943 work Being and Nothingness, to the cooptation of slime as a ubiquitous visual and cinematic trope referencing the grotesque, transgressive, and paranormal, to the recent explosion of scientific and pop-culture interest in slime-molds for their resilience and dynamic networking structures. Slime and Sliminess will engage with the dynamic and elastic signification and nature of slime.