This course examines global fiction from the early twentieth century, a period often referred to as the modernist era. Modernist writers were literary and cultural pioneers, experimenting with prose and poetry in ways that challenged and unsettled readers; yet such changes have come to be seen as important innovations in literary style. In addition to engaging with questions of form and style, writers from this period were also interested in subjects that were previously viewed as taboo, questionable, and, as such, often unspeakable. These topics included, but are not limited to, trauma, war, sexuality, insanity, and newly carved out gender and familial roles. Perhaps most importantly for our class, modernist writers created spaces for themselves and their work all over the world. From writers in exile to writers living under colonial/imperial rule, the relationship between modernism and culture is inherently dialogic. We will interrogate the relationship between modernist experimentation, nation, and identity, focusing on writers from America, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, Asia, and Europe. Throughout our term together, we will critically consider, discuss, and write about the dynamic between the content of modernist writing, its innovative style and form, and its connection to place and space.
Location & Meeting Time
M/W 03:05PM-04:45PM LEC