Fall 2010 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Cohen, Milton
Discipline and Number
HUSL 7360 Section 501
T Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Modernism before WWI

Description of Course:


The first fifteen years of the 20th century witnessed an outpouring of radical art, music, and literature, accompanied by avant-garde groups, inflammatory manifestos, and explosive premieres and exhibitions. Picasso and Braque’s Cubism, Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps," the Italian and Russian Futurist movements, Pound's Imagism, Kandinsky's abstractions, and the Blaue Reiter exhibitions and Almanac, the Armory Show, Stein's "Tender Buttons"-—these are only a few of the modernist landmarks of these years that aroused furious controversy and sometimes pitched battles between artists and audiences.

This course will explore various ways these different works, styles, movements and tracts can be understood and interrelated beyond the boundaries of separate arts and countries. Such integrative approaches include formal (e.g., various paths to abstraction in painting and poetry, pantonality and polytonality in music); political (emerging groups, leaders, manifestos, and confrontations with the public in an increasingly militant milieu); and thematic (Expressionistic angst, sexual frankness, urban alienation, etc.)

For their research projects, students will select a work, artist, movement, style, or issue from 1900-14 and a particular methodology for investigating the topic in a specified context.

Required Texts:

Christopher Butler, Early Modernism: Literature, Music, and Painting in Europe 1900-1916 (Oxford Univ. Press)
Milton A. Cohen, Movement, Manifesto, Melee: The Modernist Group 1910-1914 (Lexington)
packet of readings
readings on reserve at McDermott Library

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will give an oral report (45 minutes) and write a research paper (ca. 15 pages). Class attendance and participation are essential.

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