In this course we will study a selection of important early 20th century poetry, novellas and novels. Our focus will be the British and American literary modernist movement which disrupted 19th century notions of literature’s role in society, how to read and approach modernist literature, and how the human experience can be represented in writing. Each of the writers under consideration participated in a radical departure from their literary predecessors. We will explore their texts in light of changing perceptions about many aspects of modern culture, including human consciousness, gender, race, empire, and the nature of time and reality.
We will meet for three hours every Friday morning (9:30am-12:20pm), with a short break in the middle. Our meetings will include lecture, open class discussions, small group work, and oral presentations by individual students. I will regularly post relevant critical and biographical information for each author / text on the class Moodle site. In addition the site will include a discussion forum and a posting of the critical articles chosen by students for their oral presentations.
The 100% coursework assessment will comprise marks from
- Class Work (including attendance, contribution to all discussions, and evidence of preparation and intellectual curiosity) – 20%
- Oral Presentation – 10%
- Reading Responses – 30%
- Final Essay – 40%
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)
T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1915)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)