English R1A

Reading and Composition: Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
14 Fall 2004 Paul Stasi
T Th 3:30 - 5:00 283 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

"Joyce, J.: Dubliners

Locke, A.: The New Negro

Toomer, J.: Cane

Johnson, J. W.: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Course Reader including (at least) Zora Neale Hurston, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Nella Larsen. "


"In this course we will think about the relationship between the ""aesthetic"" and the ""political"" by reading works from two literary formations of the 1920s and 30s that are often taken to embody the two sides of this divide -- modernism, read most often for its purely aesthetic qualities, and the Harlem Renaissance, typically seen in terms of its political commitments. Our goal will be to understand what commonalities obtain between these seemingly distinct bodies of work so that we can more accurately assess where they diverge. As with any good comparison, we will not attempt to disconnect the Harlem Renaissance from its politics nor to argue that modernism is focused primarily on racial equality, but rather to see how these two bodies of work challenge each other and allow for new ways of thinking about the complicated interaction between art and society.

Students will be required to write 5 essays (not including one in-class, ungraded diagnostic essay); three of them will be 3 pages and the last two will be 5. Each student will also be required to submit one rough draft and one revision on an essay of his/her choosing; however I will accept revisions of any paper one week after I?ve handed it back and am happy to look over drafts throughout the semester. There will also be a number of homework assignments -- largely responses to the reading -- and some in-class writing. Vigorous participation and attendance is a must. "

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