Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Modern British Literature

ENGL 261.910
instructor(s):
MTWR 4:20-5:55

This course will address a number of responses to authority in modernist literature in English. With the increase in formal experimentation that characterized modernism came attendant concerns about the authority of the literary canon and its conventions. Two world wars across Europe and the fall of the British Empire made political and social authority central thematic concerns. Finally, we will explore the authority of the author and the authority of the reader in the work of literary interpretation. We will be reading texts across genres including novels, short stories, essays, and poetry. Reading will include: Henry James, "Figure in the Carpet;" Joseph Conrad, "Heart of Darkness;" James Joyce, "Dubliners"; T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"; Ezra Pound, "Canto 1"; Djuna Barnes, "Nightwood"; Chinua Achebe, "Things Fall Apart". Course requirements include two papers, a midterm, and a final examination.