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Modern America cancelled

ENGL 1140.001
TR 10:15-11:44am

This course will introduce students to the most celebrated American writers from the first half of the twentieth century and some fascinating forgotten ones as well. While focusing to some extent on the decade of the 1930s, the aim of this course is to develop a rich and flexible conception of modernism and an understanding the broad cultural transition that defines this period: a transition from a Puritan-republican culture of production to a culture of consumption or abundance. Our readings and discussions will explore the following: the relationship between modernist form and key aspects of social modernity (the city, the assembly line, the automobile, and mechanized war); the relationship between modernism and mass culture; and the relationship between modernism and politics: the way writers of this period engaged with questions of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and national identity. Readings will include: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio; Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time; F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby; Mike Gold, Jews Without Money; William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, and selected short stories; Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust; Tom Kromer, Waiting for Nothing; Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps; and John Dos Passos, The Big Money. We may also consider several paintings, films (e.g., Modern Times, I Was a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Scarface, and The Moderns) and read some poetry from the period. Requirements: midterm and a final paper of around 8-10 pages.

English Major Requirements
  • Sector 6 20th & 21st Centuries (AE20)
English Concentration Attributes
  • 20th-21st Century Concentration (AE21)
  • The Novel Concentration (AENV)
College Attributes