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American Literature 1900-1945

ENGL 084.401
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3:00

"History broke in halves," historian Henry Adams lamented about the year l901. Willa Cather felt that "The world broke in two in l922 or thereabouts." And in the mid-l930s John Dos Passos conculded, "all right we are two nations." This spring English 84 explores the experience of fragmentation as expressed in four defining periods/themes of the 20th century's opening decades: "the end of American innocence" (immigration, ethnicity, class"; expatriation and the development of modernism; the Harlem Renaissance; and politics and society in the Depression years. Readings include novels, stories, poetry, essays, plays, and autobiography by Mary Antin, Abrahma Cahan, Sui Sin Far, Zitkala-Sa, Wharton, London, James Weldon Johnson, Frost, Masters, Sherwood Anderson, Cather, Eliot, Pound, Stevens, Hemingway, O'Neill, Stein, Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, Hesse Fauset, Meridel LeSueur, Michael Gold, Odets, Steinbeck, Dos Passos. Lecture/discussion format with three papers and opportunities for revision; an oral presentation of a poem or short story; participation in class; several screenings; and a final exam or a final project, with creative options.