English 203

Graduate Readings: Modernism, Race and Modernity

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2009 Jones, Donna V.
Jones, Donna
TTh 11-12:30 301 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

David L. Lewis ed., Harlem Renaissance Reader; Jean Toomer, Cane; E.E Cummings, The Enormous Room; Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask, Michael North, The Dialect of Modernism: Race, Language and Twentieth-Century Literature


In this prose seminar we will focus on recent attempts in cultural criticism to shift the study of modernism beyond Anglo-American works and formalism. We will begin with an examination of questions about race and ‘otherness’ in modernist literature, visual culture and aesthetics—how are non-Western cultures used to mediate metropolitan anxieties towards the limits of language and representation? To approach this question we will trace the development and function of primitivism and fetishism in modernist literature and art. We will also examine the transnational dimensions of modernism and the relationship between modernism and the modernization. This is an ideal course for graduate students preparing for their qualifying exams and for those who expect to write on the topics around race and in early 20th century literature.

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