In class we saw Antonioni’s Blow-Up in connection with the Devil’s spit (ask if you must, and I’ll link when I can). It was quite exotic as all the students were born after this film was made. I was a child.
The true class to give would be on sugar as a social actor. Sweetness and power, brown sugar, monoculture and patriarchy. There is ample bibliography for this, and Fernando Coronil has a book on oil and the state.
The class on sugar would be preceded by a radio advertisement whose musical lead in would be by the Archies. I think we should all give courses on oil, coffee, silver, tobacco and sugar, and share ideas. Cinnamon, chocolate, and hashish are more romantic, of course, but are they as interesting?
What other inanimate objects and products have emerged as social actors, and how have they been represented in song and story? When, and to what extent, is music a social actor? Why, and/or why not?