Instructor: James Wood Day & Time: TBD | Location: TBD
In this class, we will examine novels and short stories published since 1945 in Britain and the United States. Though certain themes naturally emerge -- belonging and not belonging; immigration and emigration; estrangement, race and post-colonial politics; liberalism and the importance of "noticing" others; the role of realism and the various postmodern movements in reaction to realism -- the primary emphasis is on learning how to read slowly, and learning how to enjoy, appreciate and properly judge a living, contemporary literature.
What does is it mean to be, or feel as, a woman? This course will survey major female authors from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who ask these questions in their novels, plays, and essays. In our lectures, we will move through literary explorations of womanhood in Modernism, to Expressionism, the Feminist movements, and on to contemporary questions of trauma, reproductive rights, love, activism, sexuality and gender identity, race, sexual exploitation and abuse, camaraderie, unity, and comedy. Authors include Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Djuna Barnes, Sally Rooney, Alice Birch, Elena Ferrante, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Final assignment will be a creative project of your own design based on course themes and materials.
This course introduces students to the poetry, literary prose, and artful correspondence of one of the major poets of the twentieth century, considering her innovations in all these genres. We will look at her writing in multiple genres alongside the mid-century shift from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ verse forms, and relate stylistic issues to the intellectual and social changes, and political and historical developments of the period. Bishop’s critique of received ideas about nationality, race, power, gender, sexual orientation, and the overlap between culture and nature, is connected with her status as a cosmopolitan poet with links to Canada, the U.S. and Brazil. ‘Others’ refers both to how her writing comes to terms with the (sociopolitical) reality of other people, and to the comparisons we’ll draw between her writing and that of other poets.
Close readings of major 20th-century writers in the context of cultural history. (I) From the Harlem Renaissance to the Federal Writers' Project: Alain Locke, Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, Jessie Fauset, George Schuyler, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright. (II) From World War II to the present: Ralph Ellison, Ann Petry, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Ishmael Reed, Charles Johnson, Rita Dove, Colson Whitehead, Paul Beatty.
The Bloomsbury Group was an extraordinary creative collaboration in the early years of the 20th century. We tend to think of such collaborative work today, in think tanks, Silicon Valley incubators, literary movements and artists' colonies, as a fairly recent phenomenon, but it was in fact powerfully modeled a century ago. "Bloomsbury" included novelists Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster, both of whom are also literary critics; biographer and essayist Lytton Strachey; economist John Maynard Keynes; socialist and publisher Leonard Woolf; philosophers G.E.Moore and Bertrand Russell; artists Vanessa Bell, Dora Carrington, and Duncan Grant; art critics Clive Bell and Roger Fry; and the English translators of Sigmund Freud, James and Alix Strachey--- each of whom had an enormous effect on the form of the genre, or genres, in which they worked. Not to mention other friends, lovers and rivals: Vita Sackville-West, David Garnett, Aldous Huxley, Katherine Mansfield, just to name a few. This course will look at the interdisciplinary effect of brilliant and talented people from across the spectrum of the arts and social sciences influencing each other’s work and participating in its creation and publication. Readings to include the major novels and essays of Virginia Woolf, the biographies and essays of Lytton Strachey, and substantial selections from other theorists, artists, critics and practitioners, together with relevant films, letters, and elements of design and home décor.
Instructor: Philip Fisher Day & Time: Mondays & Wednesdays 12-1:15pm Course Website Topics include: modernism; aesthetic experience; the life of art; the city; and novelistic form; the moment and memory within temporal experiences. Joyce, Dubliners and Ulysses; Proust, Swann's Way; and Within a Budding Grove; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse; Kawabata, Snow Country. Writings of Pater, Simmel, T.S. Eliot, and sections from The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon.
Instructor: Derek Miller Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:30-11:45am Course Website Cultural education usually occurs piecemeal: a novel from this period, a poem from that. Cultural works are not, however, truly isolated from each other, but rather appear as artifacts of cultural systems. This course uses cultural works to understand a single cultural system: Broadway since 1940. Comparative analyses of musical and non-musical plays will illuminate how Broadway has changed over the past seventy-five years. We will attend to economic, social, technological, and other transformations in how Broadway makes, markets, and measures its shows. Through our explorations of some of those shows, we will grasp the system’s effects on major dramaturgical strategies including approaches to plot, characterization, and staging. The course thus simultaneously surveys major works of the commercial American theater, narrates a history of Broadway since 1940, and models how to think about the relationship between that history of the Broadway system and the works it produces.
Instructor: Beth Blum Day & Time: TBD | Location: TBD
Speaking of James Joyce’s Ulysses, T.S. Eliot confessed: “I wish, for my own sake, that I had not read it.” How does one write literature after Joyce’s revolutionary prose? This course explores different authors’ responses to that challenge. You will be introduced to one of the most influential authors of the 20th century through selected readings from Joyce’s key works: Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake (excerpts). After immersing ourselves in Joyce’s oeuvre, we will track its afterlife in literature (Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith), graphic narrative (Chris Ware, Alison Bechdel), and popular culture.