ENGL 540 -- Winter Quarter 2006

Intro to Modernism Burstein TTh 1:30-3:20

This class is loosely organized around three heuristic rubrics: Manifestoes, Minds, and Matter. As a whole the course does four things: orient the student with an overview of (mostly) British modernism circa 1900-1930; provide a general background for modernism from texts outside the field of literary studies per se (Simmel, Bergson, Giddens); engage some current critical conversations in the field; and allow focus on the work of particular authors. We will engage topoi such as embodiment and materiality—with particular attention to the status of the modernist object—as well as chronicle historical avant-gardes such as Vorticism and Imagism. Texts are mostly but not exclusively prose: Conrad's The Secret Agent; Ford's Good Soldier, West's The Return of the Soldier, Lewis's Tarr, with poems and essays by Loy and Pound for certain, but others may appear (Compton Burnett? Richard Aldington?). Students will write a 1,000 word book review of a critical monograph published 2004-6 and a final research paper.

There is one preexisting requirement: Students must read Paul de Man's translation of Madame Bovary prior to our first meeting. Not required but recommended: Levenson's The Genealogy of Modernism and Ekstein's Rites of Spring.

Please note: It is likely I teach a course on fashion and modernism 2006-7. This course will require students to have taken at least one prior course—graduate or undergraduate—in American, British, or European modernism.

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