Spring 2016 - Graduate Course Descriptions

Cohen, Milton
Discipline and Number
HUSL 7360 Section 001
M Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
American Modernist Twenties

Description of Course:

American modernism arrived belatedly in the 1920s, but with a vengeance. A new generation emerged, born in the 90s most of them, schooled on the slaughter and disillusionment of World War I, eager to build on the breakthroughs of the prewar modernists and to shock the American "booboisie," even from Paris.

Our survey of this decade rounds up many of the usual suspects: Anderson, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Dos Passos, Cummings, Williams, Stevens, and Moore. A few are notably missing: Pound and Eliot had long since put America behind them; Lewis and Cather were not really modernists. And a few lesser known faces appear: Katherine Anne Porter, Hart Crane, and Jean Toomer. In modernist drama, O'Neill dominates (Desire Under the Elms, The Great God Brown), but we’ll also read an expressionistic drama by Elmer Rice.

Other topics include: the expatriates, the little magazines, and American art and music in the 20s.

Required Texts:

Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (Norton critical edition)
Hemingway, In Our Time (Simon & Schuster)
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (Norton critical edition)
Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer (Marriner books)
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Rice, The Adding Machine (Samuel French)
Eugene O'Neill: Complete Plays 1920-1931 (Library of America)
Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, vol. 1 (Modern)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Students will give an oral report (30-45 minutes) on an author or topic from the syllabus, and write a research paper (c. 15 pp.). Class participation is essential.

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