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

Postgraduate Course: Modernism: Text, Image, Object (Level 11) (ENLI11185)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores major works of Anglo-American literary modernism in relation to the advanced visual art of the period (including painting, collage, sculpture, photography, and installation). By approaching modernist novels and poems in this way, the course aims to: clarify students' understanding of the ways in which such texts challenge nineteenth-century conventions of meaning and representation; highlight the close connections that existed between literature and the visual arts, and between Britain, the United States, and continental Europe, during the modernist period; foreground the visual impact of typographic design in key modernist texts and the conjunction of text and image in celebrated modernist artworks; think through the idea of the "avant-garde" and examine the distinctive features of the major avant-garde movements; and draw attention to the importance of the manifesto as a key point of contact between modernist literature and art, and an important genre in its own right. Each week, we will examine a particular modernist cultural movement via selected writings and artworks, with the emphasis on making comparisons with artistic forms in order to deepen our understanding of literary style, technique, and theme.

*This course is taught jointly with undergraduate students and consequently postgraduate places are limited
Course description 1. Introduction to the course

2. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Writing: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927) and extract from 'Modern Fiction' (1919)
Art: Claude Monet, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Vincent Van Gogh, Roger Fry

3. Cubism
Writing: Gertrude Stein, Three Lives (1909); Guillaime Appollinaire, from The Cubist Painters (1913)
Art: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris

4. Futurism and Dada
Writing: Mina Loy, selections from The Lost Lunar Baedeker (1997); F.T. Marinetti, 'The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism' (1909); Tristan Tzara, from 'Dada Manifesto' (1918)
Art: Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Höch

5. Imagism and Vorticism
Writing: Selections from Imagist Poetry (2001) (including Richard Aldington, H.D., Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound); preface to Some Imagist Poets (1915); extract from Blast (1914)
Art: Wyndham Lewis, Jacob Epstein, C.R.W. Nevinson

6. Surrealism
Writing: Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (1936); André Breton, from 'The First Manifesto of Surrealism' (1924)
Art: Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí

7. Precisionism, the Stieglitz Circle, and transition
Writing: Hart Crane, The Bridge (1930); Eugene Jolas, 'Suggestions for a New Magic' (1927) and 'Proclamation' (1929)
Art: Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefe, Charles Demuth, Joseph Stella, Edward Hopper

8. The Harlem Renaissance
Writing: Langston Hughes, selected poems; Alain Locke, from introduction to The New Negro (1925)
Art: Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, Palmer Hayden

9. Abstract Expressionism and the New York School
Writing: Selections from The New York Poets: An Anthology (2004) (including John Ashbery, Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, James Shuyler); James Shuyler, 'Poet and Painter Overture' (1959)
Art: Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, Mark Rothko

10. Pop and Early Postmodernism
Writing: Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 (1966); Richard Hamilton, 'For the Finest Art, Try Pop' (1961)
Art: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of 4000 words (100%)
-You may also submit a 1,000 word essay plan one month before your essay deadline. This essay plan will not receive a mark, but will form the basis of written feedback given by the course organiser with a view to helping you prepare for your summative assessment.
Feedback Detailed written feedback on optional formative assessment (essay plan) and summative assessment (essay). Both within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the key ways in which literature interacted with the visual arts during the modernist period.
  2. Articulate the distinctive characteristics of the major modernist cultural movements.
  3. Compare and contrast the ways in which literature and visual art make meaning
  4. Analyse the formal and thematic elements of major examples of literary modernism in relation to works of visual art
  5. Mount a substantial and sustained argument about the intersections of the literary and the visual in modernist culture
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG ENLI10344
Course organiserDr Paul Crosthwaite
Tel: (0131 6)50 3614
Course secretaryMr Iain Harrison
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