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Modernism

ENGL 210.910
instructor(s):
MW 11:40-2:50

Modernism is usually identified by looking for formal features of texts such as fragments, images, stream of consciousness, myths, and unstable ironies. During the twentieth century, a wide range of authors have used these techniques, so we have to consider whether these works really have anything much in common. Should we instead speak of different kinds of modernisms--early, late, American, European, male, female, lesbian, minority, postcolonial? Can we trace relationships between the literary devices associated with modernism and conceptions of race, nationality, ideology and gender? We will read poems by T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens and Langston Hughes; novels by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Assia Djebar; and plays by Samuel Beckett and Wole Soyinka. We will also examine some paintings by Pablo Picasso, a few early twentieth-century movies, and essays by Virginia Woolf and W.E.B. DuBois.