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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Global Modernisms: Inter/National Responses to Modernity (ENLI10369)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the relationship between modernity and modernism: the social and cultural phenomena that constitute twentieth-century life across a range of global contexts, and the aesthetic response to these unevenly distributed 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.
Course description 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 from a variety of national contexts 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 across a range of global contexts, and the aesthetic response to these unevenly distributed 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, race, migration, and the limitations of language.

The course focuses on novels and poetry but also incorporates memoir and non-fiction, something 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. Classes will examine how modernism relates to various other 'isms' that are associated with it (futurism, surrealism, Imagism), and 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  36
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2500 word coursework essay (40%) submitted in week 9;
plus 3000 word final essay submitted during exam period at end of semester (60%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will understand the principal critical terms that are used in relation to modernist cultural production and interrogate their utility.
  2. Students will identify some of the different ways in which modernity has been refracted, reflected and contested by authors around the world.
  3. Students will perform textual analyses which consider a text's engagement with modernist content and aesthetics in light of its historical and cultural contexts.
  4. Students will reflect critically on how, and why, literary modernism has been constructed in particular ways.
  5. Students will, in addition, further improve their abilities in areas fundamental to the study of English literature at Honours level: essay writing, independent reading, critical thinking, class discussion, oral presentation of information, and the ability to learn autonomously in small groups.
Reading List

Anand, Mulk Raj. 'London As I See It' (1945). Wasafiri 26.4 (2011): 19-21.
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.
Davidson, Guy. 'Displaying the Monster: Patrick White, Sexuality, Celebrity.' Australian Literary Studies 25.1 (May 2010): 1-18.
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.
Howells, Coral Ann. 'Jean Rhys (1890-1979).' The Gender of Modernism. Ed. Bonnie Kime Scott. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. 372'377.
James, C.L.R. 'Discovering Literature in Trinidad' (1969). The Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature. Ed. Alison Donnell and Sarah Lawson Welsh. New York: Routledge, 1996. 163'165.
Kaivola, Karen. 'Revisiting Woolf's Representations of Androgyny: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Nation'. Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 18.2 (1999): 235'261.
Kalliney, Peter. 'Metropolitan Modernism and Its West Indian Interlocutors: 1950s London and the Emergence of Postcolonial Literature.' PMLA 122.1 (2007): 89-104.
Kusch, Celena E. 'H.D.'s American 'Sea Garden': Drowning the Idyll Threat to US Modernism'. Twentieth Century Literature 56.1 (Spring 2010): 47-70.
Lever, Susan. 'The Twyborn Affair: Beyond 'The Human Hierarchy of Men and Women.'' Australian Literary Studies 16.3 (1994): 289-96.
McCann, Andrew. 'Decomposing Suburbia: Patrick White's Perversity.' Australian Literary Studies 18.4 (1998): 56-71.
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.
Stevens, Hugh. 'Introduction: Modernism and Its Margins.' Modernist Sexualities. Ed. Hugh Stevens and Caroline Howlett. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000. 1'12.
Taylor, Melanie. 'True Stories: Orlando, Life-Writing and Transgender Narratives.' Modernist Sexualities. Ed. Hugh Stevens and Caroline Howlett. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 202'218.
Trehearne, Brian. 'P.K. Page and Surrealism'. Journal of Canadian Studies 38.1 (2004): 46'64.


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
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.
Friedman, Susan Stanford. Penelope's Web: Gender, Modernity, H.D.'s Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
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.
Trehearne, Brian. The Montreal Forties: Modernist Poetry in Transition. Toronto: U Toronto P, 1999.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills A. Research and Enquiry (Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry): developed through class participation and autonomous learning group participation; tested by exam and essay.
B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy (Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges): developed through essay.
C. Communication (Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning): developed through oral presentation and through essay.
D. Personal Effectiveness (Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate): developed through class and autonomous learning group participation.
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks;
plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour each week - at time to be arranged
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Megan Girdwood
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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