Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

The Twentieth Century

ENGL 104.001
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12

This course surveys Modernism and Postmodernism in twentieth-century western literature, painting, architecture, film, and philosophy.  It considers abstraction and representation; aesthetic pleasure and social commitment; the "woman question" (and the "man question," too); nationalism versus postcolonial diversity; mass communications and mechnical reproduction versus the handmade, high-art object. Students will be expected to experience the works of a great many artists and thinkers: Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Stein, Adolf Loos, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Reni Magritte, Le Corbusier, Philip Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Ferdinand de Saussure, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus--and this list gets us only into the 1930s!  The emphasis will be on exposure to the broad range of images, ideas, and language that have created this century of conflict and immense achievement.  Assignments: frequent quizzes, an essay, and mid-term and final exams.  

Note: This course fulfills the Arts & Letters "General Requirement" within the College General Requirement. In English, only English 100-104 are General Requirement courses; almost all others will fulfill the "distributional" requirement in Arts & Letters. This is an introductory course--not one for senior majors. Experienced majors should take English 61, 65, 261, 265, 84, 284, 85, 285, or 210.