Modern American Literature 1900-45: Modern America
This course offers an intensive survey of American literature between 1910 and 1939. Our lecture-discussions sessions will explore the following important issues: the relationship between modernist form and key aspects of social modernity (e.g., the city, the assembly line, the automobile, and mechanized war); modernism, mass culture and consumerism; modernism, ethnicity, and class; modernism and money; and modernism and the Great Depression. Texts 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; Hurston, selected short stories; West, MISS LONELYHEARTS and A COOL MILLION; Kromer, WAITING FOR NOTHING; Dos Passos, THE BIG MONEY; McCarthy, THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS. Some poetry will also be included and students will be required to watch a few films from the 1930s (e.g., MODERN TIMES, CITIZEN KANE, I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAINGANG, and SCARFACE) on their own. Requirements: 5-7 pp. midterm paper, 6-8 pp. final paper, written report on 30s film, and a final exam (which might be cancelled if class participation is exceptionally good and demonstrates that the class is keeping up with the readings).