Undergraduate Course: Modernism: Making It New (ENLI10360)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Modernism is a term under which a bewildering variety of aesthetic practices and ideas have been gathered, and with which some of the most dense and complex works of modern English literature have come to be associated. This course aims to overcome the reticence which this reputation can sometimes engender in students by presenting them with a range of twentieth-century texts and, by demonstrating how to interpret them and understand them in context, give students a sense of the value and the pleasure of grappling with "difficult" modernist literature.
Modernism is a term under which a bewildering variety of aesthetic practices and ideas have been gathered, and with which some of the most dense and complex works of modern English literature have come to be associated. This course aims to overcome the reticence which this reputation can sometimes engender in students by presenting them with a range of twentieth-century texts and, by demonstrating how to interpret them and understand them in context, give students a sense of the value and the pleasure of grappling with "difficult" modernist literature.
A central focus of the course will be the relationship between modernity and modernism: the social and cultural phenomena that constitute twentieth-century life, and the aesthetic response to these phenomena. Students will consider the ways that writers engage with, and react against, the status quo, in terms of both literary tradition and the social and political upheavals that manifested themselves in the early part of the century through processes such as industrialisation, migration and urbanisation. Other themes that emerge across the set texts include shifting gender norms, attentiveness to artists and the creative process, the nature of consciousness, technological advances, and the limitations of language.
The course focuses on novels and poetry but also incorporates memoir and non-fiction, which offers the opportunity to explore how these authors challenged and reworked genres. Students will attend closely to language and narrative voice, and the large array of interrelated ways in which writers of this period broke apart and reassembled literary, poetic, stylistic and formal conventions. Lectures will situate literary works in the context of other important works of the period in other art forms (visual art, music, architecture), and will examine how modernism relates to various other ¿isms¿ that are associated with it (futurism, surrealism, Imagism). Students will be introduced to recent debates within modernist studies that have come from postcolonial studies, critical race studies, minority literatures, gender studies and queer studies. Scholars in these fields have posed challenges to conventional understandings of modernism, and the course will explore how these critical perspectives have forced a reappraisal of the field¿s temporal boundaries and aesthetic categories, and what they can reveal about how, and why, modernism has come to be valued in the way it has.
1. Introduction: Gertrude Stein (excerpts)
2. William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore (selections)
3. James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
4. Patrick White, The Vivisector
5. C.L.R. James, Letters from London (excerpts), Mulk Raj Anand, Conversations in Bloomsbury (excerpts)
6. Virginia Woolf, Orlando
7. Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark
8. Claude McKay and P.K. Page (selections)
9. Ezra Pound and H.D. (selections)
10. Conclusion and review
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| In addition to the skills training common to all English Literature Honours courses (essay writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning) this course will aim to develop in students the ability to:
a) understand the principal critical terms that are used in relation to modernist cultural production and interrogate their utility;
b) identify some of the different ways in which modernity has been refracted, reflected and contested by authors around the world;
c) perform textual analyses which consider a text¿s engagement with modernist content and aesthetics in light of its historical and cultural contexts;
d) reflect critically on how, and why, literary modernism has been constructed in particular ways;
e) further refine their skills of close reading, particularly when applied to difficult and experimental texts.
Booth, Howard J. "Claude McKay in Britain: Race, Sexuality and Poetry". Modernism and Race. Ed. Len Platt. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011. 137-155.
Brooker, Peter and Andrew Thacker. "Introduction: Locating the Modern". Geographies of Modernism: Literatures, Cultures, Spaces. London: Routledge, 2005. 1-5.
Butler, Christopher. "James Joyce (1882-1941): Modernism and Language". Ed. Michael Bell. The Cambridge Companion to European Novelists. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. 361-377.
Chodat, Robert. "Sense, Science, and the Interpretations of Gertrude Stein". Modernism/Modernity 12.4 (2005): 581-605.
Doyle, Laura. "Notes Toward a Dialectical Method: Modernities, Modernisms, and the Crossings of Empire." Literature Compass 7.3 (2010): 195-213.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. "Definitional Excursions: The Meanings of Modern/Modernity/Modernism". Modernism/Modernity 8.3 (2001): 493-513.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman: H. D.'s Rescriptions of Joyce, Lawrence, and Pound". Writing the Woman Artist: Essays on Poetics, Politics, and Portraiture. Ed. Suzanne W. Jones. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1991. 23-42.
Kaivola, Karen. "Revisiting Woolf's Representations of Androgyny: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Nation". Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 18.2 (1999): 235-261.
Miller, Cristanne. "Marianne Moore and the Women Modernizing New York". Modern Philology 98.2 (2000): 339-362.
Moore, Patrick. "William Carlos Williams and the Modernist Attack on Logical Syntax". ELH 53.4 (1986): 895-916.
Nadell, Martha Jane. "Modernism and Race." A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture. Ed. David Bradshaw & Kevin J. H. Dettmar. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007. (electronic resource)
Sarker, Sonita. "Race, Nation, and Modernity: The Anti-colonial Consciousness of Modernism." Gender in Modernism: New Geographies, Complex Intersections. Ed. Bonnie Kime Scott. Urbana, IL: U Illinois P, 2007. 472-82.
Seshagiri, Urmila. "Modernist Ashes, Postcolonial Phoenix: Jean Rhys and the Evolution of the English Novel in the Twentieth Century." Modernism/Modernity 13:3 (Sep 2006): 487-505.
Snaith, Anna. "The Hogarth Press and Networks of Anti-Colonialism". Leonard & Virginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press and the Networks of Modernism. Ed. Helen Southworth. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2012. 103-127.
Snaith, Anna. "'A Savage From the Cannibal Islands': Jean Rhys and London." Geographies of Modernism: Literatures, Cultures, Spaces. Ed. Peter Brooker & Andrew Thacker. London: Routledge, 2005. 76-85.
Trehearne, Brian. "P.K. Page and Surrealism". Journal of Canadian Studies 38.1 (2004): 46-64.
Other relevant critical material will be made available on the VLE.
Ayers, David. Modernism: A Short Introduction. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 2004.
Berman, Marshall. All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988.
Booth, Howard J., and Nigel Rigby. Modernism and Empire. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000.
Bradbury, Malcolm, and James McFarlane, eds. Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930. 1976. London: Penguin, 1991.
Bradshaw, David, and Kevin J. H. Dettmar. A Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
Brooker, Peter, and Andrew Thacker. Geographies of Modernism: Literatures, Cultures, Spaces. London: Routledge, 2005.
Butler, Christopher. Early Modernism: Literature, Music, and Painting in Europe, 1900-1916. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994.
Butler, Christopher. Modernism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP, 2010. (first chapter is available for free at http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/13/9780192804419_chapter1.pdf)
Cheng, Vincent John. Joyce, Race, and Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995.
Corcoran, Neil, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century English Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Davis, Alex, and Lee M. Jenkins, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007.
DeKoven, Marianne. Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1991.
Doyle, Laura, and Laura Winkiel. Geomodernisms: Race, Modernism, Modernity. Bloomington, IN: Indiana UP, 2005.
Eysteinsson, Ástrádur. The Concept of Modernism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.
Eysteinsson, Ástrádur, and Vivian Liska, eds. Modernism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2007.
Felski, Rita. The Gender of Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. Mappings: Feminism and the Geographies of Encounter. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1998.
Giles, Steve. Theorizing Modernism: Essays in Critical Theory. London: Routledge, 1993.
Kalaidjian, Walter B., ed. The Cambridge Companion to American Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Levenson, Michael H., ed. The Cambridge Companion to Modernism. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Mao, Douglas, and Rebecca L. Walkowitz, eds. Bad Modernisms. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.
Massey, Doreen. For Space. London: Sage, 2005.
Scott, Bonnie Kime, ed. Gender in Modernism: New Geographies, Complex Intersections. Urbana, IL: U Illinois P, 2007.
Scott, Bonnie Kime, ed. Refiguring Modernism: Postmodern Feminist Readings of Woolf, West and Barnes. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1995.
Shiach, Morag, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Modernist Novel. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007.
|Course organiser||Prof Jeremy Robbins
Tel: (0131 6)50 3675
|Course secretary||Mrs Anne Mason
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618