This general survey of 20th-century British and American writing will focus on the drives and costs behind that century's restless demands for social and aesthetic innovation. We will therefore begin with the radical manifestos of the early years--and end on the highly disputed terrain of the "postmodern." The class will include readings from Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Paul Auster and Susan Howe. A mix of lectures, class discussion, critical writing assignments-and a final exam-will complement our focus on novels, poems, plays, non-fiction prose, and movies.