ENGL 330 - American Modernism
Semester Offered: Fall
In-depth study of modern American literature and culture in the first half of the twentieth century, with special attention to the concept of “modernism” and its relation to other cultural movements during this period. Authors may include Dreiser, Wharton, Cather, Frost, Anderson, Millay, Pound, Stein, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, O’Neill, H. D., Faulkner, Wright, Eliot, Williams, Moore, Stevens, Crane, Yezierska, Toomer, Hughes, Cullen, Brown, Hurston, McKay, and Dos Passos.
Topic for 2020/21a: American Modernism. American Modernism pivots between high culture (stylistically spare, muscular in attitude) and popular fiction (mawkish, sentimental) to understand the stakes in gendering literary modernism. In academia, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, Faulkner, Eliot, Pound, and Hemingway anchor the male modernist masthead; screenwriters and novelists, Fanny Hurst, Olive Higgins Prouty, and Anita Loos, the popular canon. Men penned ‘tearjerkers’, stories that lent themselves to filmic adaptation for a mass audience; yet, only women were disparaged as authors of melodramas and romance fiction. Examining the gendered meanings of nostalgia, consumption, celebrity, this course further challenges the notion of an exclusively male ‘avant-garde’ (a military term designating an advanced guard of culture) through an exploration of lesbian modernism: H.D., Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes. Wendy Graham.
One 2-hour period.
Course Format: CLS
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