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Modernisms: Bloomsbury, Harlem, Paris

ENGL 265.401
crosslisted as: GSOC 293
instructor(s):
MW 3:30-5
Benn 323
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will consider the literature and culture of three key sites in modernism: London, New York, and Paris. In the years after World War I, these cities saw an explosion of artistic production as well as transformations in the structure and feel of everyday life. We will begin the course with readings about modernism, modernization, and modernity that focus on the importance of the city, migration, and exile in these movements. We will then turn to consider three specific artistic movements in their historical and social contexts: the Bloomsbury Group; the Harlem Renaissance; and international modernism in Paris. Our discussions will center on challenges to gender, sexual, racial, and nationalist norms by the writers and artists we treat as well as the transatlantic exchanges between them. Readings will include the work of authors including Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Alain Locke, Djuna Barnes, Aimé Césaire, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Léopold Senghor, Jean Rhys, James Joyce, Nancy Cunard, and others. We will also look at painting, sculpture, photography, film, music, and journalism of the period. One short paper (5 pages), a few response papers (1-2 pages), and a final research paper (15 pages).