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Modern America

ENGL 064.001
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30 pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will introduce students to major (and some interesting minor) American writers from the first half of the twentieth century, while focusing, to some extent, on the decade of the 1930s. Our readings and discussions will explore the following: the relationship between modernist form and key aspects of social modernity (e.g., the city, the assembly line, the automobile, and mechanized war); the relationship between modernism, mass culture, and consumerism; modernism and money; and finally, modernism and politics: the way writers of this period engaged with questions of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and national identity.  Readings will include: Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Hemingway, In Our Time; Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Gold, Jews Without Money; Faulkner, As I Lay Dying and selected short stories; West, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust; Kromer, Waiting for Nothing; Wright, Lawd Today!; Asch, Payday, McCarthy, The Company She Keeps; and Dos Passos, The Big Money.  We may also see some films, (e.g., Modern Times, I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Scarface, and The Moderns) and read some poetry from the period.  Requirements: midterm and final papers.