3 Credit Hours
From Ezra Pound's avant-garde experiments with the Poets' Club to Gertrude Stein's Parisian salons, modernism arose in tandem with social clubs, cliques, and coteries. Central to our study of British modernism will be the Bloomsbury Group, today known for fostering some of the era's most influential thinkers, writers, and artists. In addition to reading the work of well-known members like Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster, we will also consider the group's "outsiders" in order to better understand its political and cultural complexities. Through the semester, our readings will allow us to explore the relationship between modernism and modernity--the ways in which artists and writers reacted to such cultural changes as industrialism, women's suffrage, emergent literacies, or World War I. Alongside these readings of early-twentieth-century prose and poetry, we will survey contemporary literary criticism, focusing on two recent shifts in the discipline: the emergence of "the new modernist studies" (Mao & Walkowitz) and new initiatives in the digital humanities. Finally, because Bloomsbury's members ranged widely in their intellectual and artistic commitments, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach to modernism, tracing pivotal experiments across and between the arts. We will examine, for instance, Roger Fry's pioneering work with the Post-Impressionist Exhibits of 1910 and 1912 and the collaborations between the riotous 1913 premiere of THE RITE OF SPRING. Writers may include E.M. Forster, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Ezra Pound, H.D., T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, Rebecca West, Aldous Huxley, and Mulk Raj Anand. This course counts both as elective credit and as a 600-level seminar. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor and degree-seeking status.