American Modern (EAS3235)

30 credits

While Modernism is an international phenomenon, in this module we will listen for its distinctly American accents. We will analyze how U.S. writers responded to the injunction to “make it new” as they reacted to rapidly changing social and economic conditions in the first decades of the twentieth century. We will focus on the degree to which they located their sense of modernity’s disruptions, disorientations, and potential for liberation in (re)constructions of race, gender, and sexuality. We will also consider literature’s dialogue with other modern art forms—photography, painting, blues, jazz, and film. The module is suited for those interested in modernity, in U.S. culture, in literature’s response to historical contexts, and/or in interdisciplinary American Studies.