Introduction to American modernisms
A graduate survey of (the period of) American literary modernisms (1900 to WW II), with an emphasis on fiction, placing representative works in relation to literary culture and social context. Topics covered include nationalism, migration, race, gender, and the impact of the visual arts on literary modernism, as well as the relation between modernity/ modernization (social, economic, and technological transformation) and modernism (revolution in literary style): what does it mean to say that modernism the emblematic modern style? How productive are established references to modernism as (rhetoric of) rupture? What motivates the persistence of “obsolete” styles (such as realism) during the so-called modernist period? The course will consider concepts such as alternative modernities, represented by the baroque/neobaroque, peripheral modernism, as well as the significance of geopolitical location parallel to history.
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)
. . . and a course reader with secondary (including some primary) works by Michael Levenson, Mark Morisson, Walter Benn Michaels, Miles Orvell, Severo Sarduy, Irlemar Chiampi, Martin Puchner, Marjorie Perloff, Werner Sollors, Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, Sianne Ngai, Ramón Saldívar, Benita Parry.