Fall 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
This introductory course to the School of Arts and Humanities devotes a semester to answering the question "What is Modernism?" Not simply a style, a period, or a movement, modernism was a revolutionary upheaval that swept through all the Western arts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, subverting centuries-old traditions regarding form, content, and the artist's relation to society.
Although we don't have time to encompass all the arts, we will study modernist painting (extensively), music, poetry, and samples of drama, and fiction. Following some classes on historical and philosophical context, we will begin with formalist revolutions, asking "What is a modernist painting/poem/drama/novel?" The course then considers revolutions in theme and content and ends by studying the confrontational relationship between the artist and society.
Christopher Butler, *Early Modernism: Literature, Music and Painting in Europe 1900-1916* (Oxford U. Press)
Virginia Woolf, *Mrs. Dalloway* (Mariner Books)
packet of readings (available only at Off-Campus Books)
Recommended: Milton A. Cohen, *Movement, Manifesto, Melee: the Modernist Group 1910-1914* (Lexington Books).
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Students will write two 5-6 page papers. The first will be an analysis of a modernist painting, poem, or musical composition from the syllabus. The second, a mini-research paper, will discuss a modernist work in a particular context: biographical, historical, philosophical, avant-gardist (a group or movement), etc. Prior to the first paper, an outline or plan for the paper is required. Guidelines for each paper will be distributed in class. (60% of final grade)
Students will also write five 1-2 pp. reaction papers on major works. (Details will be provided on the course syllabus.)These reaction papers comprise the larger part of the ï¿½class participation compositeï¿½ grade, the remainder being oral participation, modified by attendance. This composite grade itself counts for 40% of the final grade.