English R1B

Reading and Composition: Global Modernisms

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
11 Spring 2007 Joel Nickels
TTh 9:30-11:00 31 Evans

Other Readings and Media

"Bombal, M. L., House of Mist/The Shrouded Woman

C?saire, A., Notebook of a Return to the Native Land

Neruda, P., Canto General

A course reader"


"Literary movements described as ?modernist? are typically associated with the social phenomena of ?modernity?: urbanization, industrialization, and secularization, to name a few. But these social developments occurred at very different times, and in very different ways, in the various regions that were to produce experimental, ?modernist? literature. For example, it was after World War II, in the midst of growing nationalist sentiment in Iraq and Syria, that writers in these countries developed literary forms marked by free-verse composition, anti-traditionalist values, and allusions to pre-Islamic mythic systems. This is in marked contrast to Latin American modernism, which is classically defined by a much earlier sequence of periods: modernismo (1882-1896), postmodernismo (1905-1914), and ultramodernismo (1914-1932). In this class, we will investigate the cultural and geo-political circumstances out of which different ?modernist? movements arose in the Americas, Africa, Central Asia, and East Asia. We will examine the meaning and value that ?new,? non-traditional writing took on in these regions and the various political anxieties and commitments that experimental literature came to express in them. Of special importance will be the relationship of modernism to national liberation movements in the Global South. Students will be expected to conduct independent research into the cultures and political economies of the regions on which we focus, and write a research paper on their findings.

The first paper in the class should exhibit the student?s ability to employ close reading, literary analysis, and theoretical argumentation. The second paper should integrate these interpretive techniques with the research in history and political economy the students will conduct. "

Back to Semester List