081. Modernism As Media

J. Emery-Peck (English)
4HU, W-INT
Full Course -- 4 Credits
Fall Semester FYSP 081-01  TR 3:00-4:15 
Spring Semester FYSP-081-01  Time TBA

In this first year seminar, we will analyze modernist literary productions in a variety of genres—readings will include poetry (T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land”), short fiction (Henry James’s “In the Cage” and “The Real Thing”) and novels (E.M. Forster’s Howards End and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway)—and will analyze the forms of modern media featured within these texts.  We will examine the ways in which these modernist texts engage with modern media forms: telegrams, phonographs, photographs, and advertisements.  Modernist authors saw their texts as competing with these other expressive media.  How is a poem like or not like a photograph?  What traits does a novel share with a telegram?  How do our reading and writing strategies change when we think about modernist literature as media?  In other words, we will learn to read across media and to compare the textual strategies of modernist literary texts with competing media forms.  In addition to exploring old “new media” featured in modernist texts, in the writing for this course we will also experiment with the kinds of condensation required by the telegraphic 140-character “tweet.”  You will tweet and write multiple close-reading analyses which will build toward an extended analytical argumentative essay.