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Modern America

ENGL 797.401
instructor(s):
W 9-12

This course is essentially an advanced survey of American modernist literature, with a strong theoretical component. Our readings and discussions will explore the following issues: the relationship between modernist form and key aspects of social modernity (e.g., the city, the assembly line, the automobile, and mechanized war); modernism and mass culture; modernism and consumerism; modernism, race, and ethnicity; modernism and money; and modernism, proletarian literature, and the politics of canon-making. Primary texts will include: Stein, Three Lives, Anderson, Winesburg Ohio, Hemingway, In Our Time, Faulkner, As I Lay Dying The Sound and the Fury, and Go Down, Moses , Asch, Pay Day , West, Miss Lonelyhearts ,A Cool Million , and The Day of the Locust , Kromer, Waiting for Nothing , Dos Passos, The Big Money , and Wright, Lawd Today! , and Native Son . Secondary readings by theorists and critics like Benjamin, Lukacs, Jameson, Walter Benn Michaels, Marcus Klein, Cary Nelson, and so forth will also be included, as well as some poetry and movies from the period.