ENGL 494 A: Honors Seminar

American Modernisms

Meeting Time: 
MW 10:30am - 12:20pm
FTR 032
Monika Kaup
Monika Kaup

Additional Details:

American Modernisms (with an emphasis on prose fiction)

Monika Kaup

This course examines important works of American literary modernisms (1900 to WW II), with an emphasis on prose fiction. We will read these works in relation to literary cultures and social context. We will ask question such as: What impact do forces such nationalism, migration, race, gender, and parallel developments in the visual arts have on literary modernism?  What is the relation between modernity/modernization (social, economic, and technological transformation) and modernism (revolution in literary style)?  Modernity feeds off the utopian spirit: if modernity means “making it new,” how many ways are there “to make it new” in literature? Conversely, what motivates the persistence of “obsolete” stylistic tendencies (such as realism) during the so-called modernist period? What role does identity (race, gender) play in the kinds of experiments that modernist authors, including women and minority writers, embark on? How do modernist writers negotiate the ambivalent (disruptive and liberating) impact of modernity and the disappearing traditions of the past?

Required course materials:  

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (Simon & Schuster)

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (New Directions)

Gertrude Stein,Three Lives (Dover Thrift)

Nella Larsen,Quicksand (Rutgers UP)

William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical Edition)

Américo Paredes, George Washington Gómez (Arte Público Press)
(I strongly recommend that you use these editions, so that we’re all “on the same
A Course Reader with required secondary readings. 
 Assignments: final 8-12 page research paper plus shorter assignments
Catalog Description: 
Survey of current issues confronting literary critics today, based on revolving themes and topics. Focuses on debates and developments affecting English language and literatures, including questions about: the relationship of culture and history; the effect of emergent technologies on literary study; the rise of interdisciplinary approaches in the humanities.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Honors Course
Last updated: 
August 4, 2017 - 10:40pm