This course examines Anglo-American literary production and reception between, roughly, 1890 and 1945. Many critical studies of the last two decades (for example, the recently published Cambridge Companion to Modernism) recognize that national boundaries, especially those between England and America, were of little consequence to many of the writers who shaped modernism. Among American writers, for example, both Henry James and T. S. Eliot are at least as strongly associated with England as with Boston or St. Louis. Modernisms cities included not only New York (the Armory Show of 1913) and Chicago (home of Poetry magazine), but also London, Dublin, Rome, and Paris (see Benstocks Women of the Left Bank). To teach modernism without this range of reference is to distort what it was. Our studies this term will pay special attention to the range of textual and ideological experiment characteristic of the era.
FOR WHOM PLANNED: Graduate students in the M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. programs
INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION: Gail McDonald, 124 McIver. Office hours: TR 11-12; 2-3 and by appointment. Telephone: 334-5650. E-mail: email@example.com
COURSE OBJECTIVES: To provide advanced students with an opportunity to study a range of literary works written in the first half of the twentieth century, to base their study in intellectual history, and to develop their abilities as analysts, writers, and scholarly colleagues.
TEACHING STRATEGIES: Lectures at the course outset will establish beginning points for study, but the majority of the course will be run as a seminar, i.e., each student will be responsible for at least one substantial report and every student shares the responsibility for prepared discussion, appreciative critical analysis of one another’s ideas, and serious engagement with the work at every session. Students are to meet with the instructor both before and after presentations for guidance and feedback. In addition, participants will complete one essay of 15-20 pages, aiming for publishable quality. There will be a final examination.
STUDENT LEARNING GOALS: At the completion of this course, students will be able to
· identify and understand varied characteristics of 20th-century poetry and fiction
· define in a skillful and discriminating way the various kinds of modernism
· apply techniques of literary analysis
· use literary study to develop skills in careful reading and clear writing
· employ a variety of critical approaches and theories to literature
· demonstrate understanding of the diverse social and historical contexts in which literary texts have been written and interpreted
· conduct research in primary and secondary materials
· write a lengthy essay in which an argument is sustained and supported
· present an informative report to their peers
EVALUATION METHODS AND GUIDELINES FOR ASSIGNMENTS:
Grades will be based upon the components outlined above:
Report (written and oral form) plus general participation and preparedness: 30 percent.
Final essay: 40 percent.
Final examination: 30 percent.
ACADEMIC HONOR CODE: All work is governed by the policy on Academic Integrity.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Seminars require consistent preparation, attendance, and participation. Unexplained absences cannot be excused. After three absences, the student will be dropped from the course.
Modernism: An Anthology of Sources and Documents Ed. Vassiliki Kolocontroni,
Jane Goldman, Olga Taxidou. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. 2nd ed. Ed. Richard Ellman and Robert
O=Clair. W. W. Norton and Co., 1988.
See, in addition, the schedule of readings below.
TOPICS AND SCHEDULE OF READINGS:
Week one: Course introduction
Week two: What Was Modernism?
Assigned readings in Modernism
Week three: Rethinking the Mind: Modernist Psychology
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
Week four: Excavating the Past: the Uses of History and Myth
W. B. Yeats, poems in Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry
Week five: Artistic Self-Consciousness
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Week six: The Manifesto as a Literary Form
Readings in Modernism: An Anthology, with special attention to
Marinetti, Apollinaire, Tzara, Blast, Breton
Week seven: New Women, Old Problems
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway and AA Room of One=s Own” (on reserve)
Week eight: Narrative Experiment and Ethics
Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier
Week nine: The Search for a Poetic Vocabulary
Ezra Pound; H.D. , poems in Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry
Week ten: The Search for a Poetic Vocabulary, continued
T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land Critical edition by Michael North
recommended; otherwise, Norton.
Week eleven: The Search for a Poetic Vocabulary, continued
Langston Hughes, selection of poems from Norton Anthology
Week twelve: Still more poetry
Marianne Moore, Robert Frost, selection of poems from Norton Anthology
Week thirteen: Trans-Gender; Trans-Genre
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood
Week fourteen: Southern Modern
William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom
Week fifteen: Notes from Underground
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Albright, Daniel. Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature and the Other Arts.
Chicago: University of Chicago P, 2000.
Barkan, Elazar and Ronald Bush, eds. Prehistories of the Future: The Primitivist Project and the
Culture of Modernism. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1995.
Benstock, Shari. Women of the Left Bank: Paris 1900-1940. Austin: U of Texas P, 1986.
Bradbury, Malcolm and James McFarlane, eds. Modernism, 1890-1930. New York:
Carpentier, Martha C. Ritual, Myth, and the Modernist Text. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach,
*Clarke, T. J. Farewell to an Idea
DeKoven, Marianne. Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism. Princeton: Princeton UP,
Dettmar, Kevin and Stephen Watt, eds. Marketing Modernism: Self-Promotion, Canonization,
Re-reading. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1996.
Eysteinsson, Astradur.. The Concept of Modernism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.
Lemke, Sieglinde. Primitivist Modernism: Black Culture and the Origins of Transatlantic
Modernism. New York: Oxford UP, 1998.
Levenson, Michael, ed. Cambridge Companion to Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP,
__________. A Genealogy of Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984.
Menand, Louis. Discovering Modernism: T. S. Eliot and His Context. New York: Oxford UP,
McDonald, Gail. Learning to be Modern: Pound, Eliot, and the American University. Oxford: Clarendon
Miller, Tyrus. Late Modernism: Politics, Fiction and the Arts Between the World Wars.
Berkeley: U of California P, 1999.
Nicholls, Peter. Modernisms: A Literary Guide. Berkeley: U of California P, 1995.
North, Michael. The Dialect of Modernism. New York: Oxford UP, 1994.
__________. Reading 1922: A Return to the Scene of the Modern. New York Oxford UP, 1999.
Perloff, Marjorie. The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage. Evanston, Il.: Northwestern UP, 1999.
Rado, Lisa, ed. Rereading Modernism: New Directions in Feminist Criticism. New York:
Schwartz, Sanford. The Matrix of Modernism. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1985.
Strychacz, Thomas. Modernism, Mass Culture and Professionalism. Cambridge: Cambridge
Scott, Bonnie Kime, ed. The Gender of Modernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1990. Revised edition
Witmeyer, Hugh, ed. The Future of Modernism. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1998
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