English 150

Senior Seminar: Modernism/Postmodernism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2005 Snyder, Katherine
Snyder, Katherine
W 2-5 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Woolf, V.: Mrs. Dalloway; Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury and/or As I Lay Dying; Dos Passos: Manhattan Transfer or The Big Money; Toomer, J.: Cane; Larsen, N.: Passing; Nabokov, V.: Pale Fire; Cunningham, M.: The Hours; Pynchon, T.: The Crying of Lot 49; Delillo, D.: White Noise; Powers, R.: Galatea 2.2; Morrison, T.: Beloved; essays by 19th- and 20th-century critics and theorists of the (post)modern, possibly to include Flaubert, Poe, Lawrence, Benjamin, Simmel, Freud, Friedman, Baker, and McHale, Hutcheon, Hassan, among others.


We will read an array of 20th-century novels which will stand as test cases for a baggy, theoretical construction which sometimes lumps together the modern and the postmodern, and sometimes sets them apart from each other. Topics for discussion will include: what is/are the post/modern, post/modernity, post/modernism? How does post/modern fiction explore individual and collective consciousness? How do the modern metropolis and mass culture contribute to the stylistic innovations and subject matter of post/modernism? How do differences of gender, race, and class give shape to post/modernist narratives? Requirements for the course will include short written responses to readings, one or more library exercises, an oral report, all of which will culminate in a longer research paper on one modernist or postmodernist novel. I would encourage you, therefore, to start in on the reading list over the summer in order to widen your choice of texts on which to write your research paper.

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