Spring 2024

Modernists: In Their Words and In Their Worlds

Listed in: English, as ENGL-253


Anna J. Abramson (Section 01)


This course provides an introduction to literary modernism in two parts, each part in dialogue with the other. First, in their words: we will look at how early twentieth-century writers described their own formal experiments and aesthetic agendas. This section will pair modernist manifestos and critical essays with fiction and poetry written by those same authors. Second, in their worlds: we will examine the historical, geographical, and cultural dimensions of these famous literary experiments. This section pairs modernist primary works with brief readings focused on World War I, colonization and decolonization, the Harlem Renaissance, and urban technology. When it comes to the dynamic relationship between words and worlds, our goal will be synthesis rather than separation. How does historical change relate to changes in literary form?

Possible authors include Mulk Raj Anand, Joseph Conrad, T.S. Eliot, E.M. Forster, Langston Hughes, James Joyce, Nella Larsen, Katherine Mansfield, Ezra Pound, and Virginia Woolf.

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Abramson.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference to first-year students and sophomores.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: TBA