The reading list will include: T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land; Wallace Stevens, selected poems; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Alain Locke, ed., The New Negro; William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!; John Dos Passos, The Big Money; Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath; Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas; Joseph Freeman, ed., Proletarian Literature in the United States.
The course will offer a broad-ranging survey of major cultural and political developments in the inter-war years. Among the specific topics to be covered are: the significance of modernism in this period; the relationship between high culture and popular culture; competing theories of artistic representation; the meaning of history and historical memory. Our focus will be on literary work, but we will also take up painting, architecture, and film.
Course requirements will include brief response papers, quizzes, a final exam, and a term paper.