Fall 2019 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Cohen, Milton
Discipline and Number
LIT 3319 Section 001
MW Time 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Course Title
American Modernism

Description of Course:

The two decades spanning the 1910s and 1920s witnessed such a rich outpouring of American writing that they could fairly be called a second American Renaissance. Poets like Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, E. E. Cummings, Langston Hughes and Wallace Stevens all made their appearance, as did fiction writers such as Sherwood Anderson, Jean Toomer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, and William Faulkner. And Eugene O’Neill virtually revolutionized American theatre in the Twenties. Their writing was profoundly influenced by European modernism in all the arts, and these Americans, in turn, pushed modernist writing into new realms.

In this newly-revised course, we shall sample all the writers listed above and others, and, as the required texts indicate, several writers will be studied extensively. We’ll also devote a class to European modernism (for context) and to American modernist painting.

Required Texts:

Norton Anthology of American Literature, 8th ed. (vol. D)
Hemingway, In Our Time (Scribner’s)
Fitzgerald, Babylon Revisited and Other Stories (Scribner’s)
Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (Marriner Books)
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Edition)
packet of readings (available only at Off-Campus Books)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will write one longer research paper (ca. 10 pp.) or two shorter analytical papers (5 pp. each)—60% of grade. A creative project may be substituted for one of the shorter papers. Since class will proceed primarily by discussion, student participation is important: both oral and written (as reaction papers for major readings)—40% of grade.

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