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COURSE NUMBER: ENGL 360
COURSE TITLE: Modernist Literature and Culture: Doubt, Perseverance, and Hope
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Elizabeth Willson Gordon
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The first decades of the twentieth century were a time of great upheaval: new technologies of speed and mass communication, a horrific first world war, the roaring twenties of jazz and glittering parties, the great depression of the 1930s. In this unsettled world, people presented competing views of the future. Some sought hope and meaning through the creation of new art and literature, experimenting with reflecting the altered world. Modernist literature provoked, frustrated, and unsettled its audiences, but it also spoke to them, mourned with them, and inspired them with its beauty. For people of faith, what is the value of questioning and doubting, of difficulty and perseverance? This course explores these questions alongside the value of hope in the midst of great opposition.

Prerequisites: ENGL 215
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • The Twentieth Century and Beyond: From 1900 to World War II. Broadview Press 
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) ed. Michael Nowlin, Broadview Press
  • Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926) Scribner
  • Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) Oxford World’s Classics
  • Katherine Mansfield’s Selected Stories (Norton Critical Edition)
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Presentation on The Waste Land 15%
Short Paper (3-4 pages, 1,000-1,200 words)15%
Research Paper (8-10 pages, 2,500-3,000 words)30%
Course Professionalism and Participation10%
Final Exam30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:The first decades of the twentieth century were a time of great upheaval: new technologies of speed and mass communication, a horrific first world war, the roaring twenties of jazz and glittering parties, the great depression of the 1930s. Many people deeply questioned the beliefs, values, and practices of society. In this unsettled world, people presented competing views of the future. Some sought hope and meaning through the creation of new art and literature, experimenting with reflecting the altered world. Modernist literature provoked, frustrated, and unsettled its audiences, but it also spoke to them, mourned with them and inspired them with its beauty. For people of faith, what is the value of questioning and doubting, of difficulty and perseverance? We will explore these questions alongside the value of hope in the midst of great opposition.  

This course will explore what constitutes literary modernism within a context of various historical and artistic movements while considering the changing ways of thinking about modernity. Modernism “is a term that masks conflict and upheaval and any number of contradictory positions” (Kolocotroni et al. xvii). We will read manifestos, poems, novels, short stories, and essays. We will also look at paintings and advertisements, listen to music and look at the fashions of the time. Over the course of the semester students will reflect on thinking, feeling, reading, listening, and seeing—differently. Students will engage with the course material in a variety of ways including presentations, papers, group discussions and informal writing assignments.
COURSE SCHEDULE:
  • The Value of Newness—Thinking Differently
    • September  6 Introduction 
    • 8 What is Modernism?
    • 11 Manifestos and “isms” Anthology 477-83
    • 13 Manifestos and “isms” continued, pay special attention to H.D.’s “Oread” 
    • 15 Mina Loy’s  “Aphorisms on Futurism”, her poem “Gertrude Stein,” and Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons  (as much as you wish to read) -all available online, via moodle
    • 18 Loy’s “Feminist Manifesto” -available online via moodle
    • 20 IS Conference—No Class
    • 22  Katherine Mansfield’s “Pictures”
    • 25 Mansfield’s “Bliss”
    • 27 Mansfield’s “Daughters of the Late Colonel”
  • The Value of Mourning—Feeling Differently 
    • 29 War poetry: Rupert Brooke’s “The Dead” and “The Soldier,” also Sigfried Sassoon’s “They” and “Glory of Women”
    • October  2 Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and the Psalms -online via moodle
    • 4 Short Paper Due; Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum est” and W. B. Yeats’ An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” 
    • 6  T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”  
    • 9 No Class—Thanksgiving Day
    • 11 Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises
    • 13 The Sun Also Rises
    • 16 The Sun Also Rises
  • The Value of Difficulty—Reading Differently
    • 18 Preface to The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’ Anthology 62-4 and Pound’s “Canto I” -online via moodle
    • 20 Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” begin discussion of Ulysses
    • 23 Joyce’s Ulysses, Chapter 13 [Nausicaa]
    • 25 Eliot’s The Waste Land Reading
    • 27 The Waste Land Presentations
    • 30 The Waste Land Presentations and Discussion
    • November 1 The Waste Land Discussion
  • The Value of Fluidity, Uncertainty, Jazz—Listening Differently
    • 3 Wallace Stevens’ “The Idea of Order at Key West” -online via moodle
    • 6 F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby        
    • 8 The Great Gatsby
    • 10 Fall Break—No Class
    • 13 Paper Abstracts Due on Moodle; The Great Gatsby, advertisements and fashion
    • 15 Discuss Abstracts; Eliot’s “Burnt Norton”
  • The Value of Shifting Perspective—Seeing Differently
    • 17 Joyce’s “Eveline” and “Araby”
    • 20 Joyce’s “The Dead”
    • 22 Research Paper Due; Mansfield’s “Prelude”
    • 24 Mansfield’s “At the Bay”
    • 27 Virginia Woolf’s “Modern Fiction”
    • 29 Woolf’s “The Mark on the Wall”
    • 1 Woolf’s To the Lighthouse
    • 4 To the Lighthouse
    • December 6 To the Lighthouse
    • 8 Mini-Conference and Review


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