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The Twentieth Century

ENGL 104.401
instructor(s):
TR 9-10:30

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to some of the principal themes and developments in twentieth-century history and culture. Our focus will be on reading some of the major literary works of the century in conjunction with movements in visual art, architecture, philosophy and film. Weighing literatureÕs relations with other arts, as well as with its historical and political contexts, we will examine such topics as the nature of historical memory, the function of ÒrealismÓ in both representational and abstract art, and the mechanization of everyday life. Particular attention will be paid to World Wars I and II as historical reference points for these investigations, as well as to the coming millennium and its impact on thought and culture as the century draws to a close. Writers to be studied will include Wilde, Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, Marianne Moore, Faulkner, OÕConnor, (Graham) Swift, Morrison, Spiegelman and others. We will also consider visual art by Mondrian, Malevich, Klee, Rothko and de Kooning, and films by Buster Keaton, Orson Welles and others. Course requirements will include quizzes, essays, a midterm and a final exam.