Literature in English: Mid-19th Through the 20th Century
James, H.: The Turn of the Screw and In the Cage; Stoker, B.: Dracula; Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury; Ellison, R.: Invisible Man; Pynchon, T.: Crying of Lot 49;
This course examines a range of British and American texts from the period with an emphasis on literary history and its social and political contexts. We will focus on the emergence, development, and legacy of modernism as a set of formal innovations that can help us see how literature works as a style of cultural response over a series of transformative decades whose effects still resonate today. We will also consider modernism alongside other literary modes (realism, naturalism, postmodernism) that imagine different ways of representing the experience of the modern world—and of finding a place for literature within it. Particular attention will be paid to close reading and questions of literary form, even as we think about larger issues such as the relationship between reading and entertainment, the changing status of art in respect to new technologies of information and representation, and challenges to traditional conceptions of the self that are posed by new languages of psychological, national, and racial identity.
Please note that this class will first meet on Monday, August 29; discussion sections will not start being held until Friday, September 2.
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