Undergraduate Course: Global Modernisms: Inter/National Responses to Modernity (ENLI10369)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This 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.
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.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|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%).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will understand the principal critical terms that are used in relation to modernist cultural production and interrogate their utility.
- Students will identify some of the different ways in which modernity has been refracted, reflected and contested by authors around the world.
- Students will perform textual analyses which consider a text's engagement with modernist content and aesthetics in light of its historical and cultural contexts.
- Students will reflect critically on how, and why, literary modernism has been constructed in particular ways.
- 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.
Anand, Mulk Raj. Conversations in Bloomsbury. Vision Books, 2011.
Barnes, Djuna. Nightwood. Faber & Faber, 2007.
James, C.L.R. Letters from London. Signal, 2003.
Joyce, James. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Oxford World¿s Classics, 2008.
McKay, Claude. Romance in Marseille. Penguin, 2019.
Page, P.K. Selected poems [supplied on Learn]
Rhys, Jean. Voyage in the Dark. Penguin, 2000.
Stein, Gertrude. Selected prose excerpts [supplied on Learn]
White, Patrick. The Twyborn Affair. Vintage, 1995.
|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
|Course organiser||Dr Anouk Lang
Tel: (0131 6) 5 50 8936
|Course secretary||Ms Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619