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Modernism and Modernities: Modernist Interiors and Exteriors

ENGL 059.601
W 6-9

In this course we will explore the interiors and exteriors of modernist literature and film: ornately decorated drawing-rooms, impressionist landscapes, department stores, the Grand Trunk Road of India, the modern city, the museum.  Texts may include: Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, the paintings of James Whistler, Emile Zola’s Ladies’ Paradise, Sigmund Freud’s Dora, poems by Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House, and films by the Lumière brothers and Walter Ruttmann.  We will also look at modernist theories of spaces and the mind: Georg Simmel’s metropolis, Freud’s unconscious, W. E. B. DuBois’s double-consciousness, Walter Benjamin’s Paris arcade.  Our goal will be to develop a history of modernism by tracking how modernist literature and film represents the connection between new (or disappearing) spaces and new ways of perceiving those spaces.