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Spring 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics

358:214 Introduction to Twentieth Century Literature

01   MW6  CAC  18347  GOLDSTONE  MU-208

This course introduces students to the pleasures and challenges of studying the literature of the twentieth century. Twentieth-century literature in English is a global phenomenon; this course explores some of the ways fiction, poetry, and drama speak to a world in which distant people and places are brought into contact with one another by world-spanning media and communications systems, large-scale migration, catastrophic war, and the rise and fall, and rise, of empires. Rather than attempt a survey, we read intensively in a selection of writers, paying particular attention to four themes in turn: inner life amidst social division; the poetics of multiple voices; the possibilities of reduction and minimalism; and the politics of the historical imagination. Readings may include: short fiction by James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Virginia Woolf; poetry by T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Bishop, and A.K. Ramanujan; drama by Samuel Beckett; novels by Chinua Achebe and Toni Morrison; and selected essays by and about these writers. Brief writing exercises will lead up to each assigned paper. This course is especially open to non-majors and first-years, and it fulfills the AHp Core requirement.