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Tanya Fernando University of Massachusetts, Amherst English 307 Fall 2011 M-W: 4:40-5:55

Office: Bartlett 289 Office Hours: Wed 2:30-4:30 or by appointment

Modernism and its Others We are looking at modernism as an aesthetic intervention that began in the middle of the nineteenth century and fully came to fruition around the turn of the last century. Artists and thinkers engaged in this new aesthetic to negate the alienating effects of the modern age; they understood modernism as an attitude towards modern life. As Charles Baudelaire states, it is the ephemeral, the fleeting, and the contingent, the half of art whose other half is the eternal and the immutable. Modernism and its partner, the avantgarde, deal with questions of freedom, time consciousness, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. We will pursue these three avenues of thought throughout the course. The class will spend a considerable time on theoretical and philosophical sources, especially thinkers like Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin, before turning to European art and literature from the beginning decades of the twentieth century, especially the Post-Impressionists, the Dadaists and Surrealists, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce. Essential to an understanding of the literature on modernism is the ways in which a Euro-American modernism was fractured both by the inside and the outside, by other modernisms. We look at the ways in which European modernism and the avantgarde are not singular, but are contested in different ways, especially by the Harlem Renaissance and during the time of decolonization by writers such as Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, and an international surrealism. Week 1: (Wed, 9/7) Introduction The Ballets Russes, The Rite of Spring (1913) Week 2: (Mon, 9/12) Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life S Michel Foucault, What is Enlightenment? S (Wed, 9/14) Raymond Williams, The Politics of Modernism, pp.1-63 Week 3: (Mon, 9/19) Edgar Allan Poe, The Man in the Crowd S Walter Benjamin, On Some Motifs in Baudelaire in Illuminations (Wed, 9/21) Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Illuminations F.T. Marinetti, Futurist Manifesto S Presentation: Futurism

Week 4: (Mon 9/26) Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto 1918 S Russian Constructivism: Declaration of the International Fraction of Constructivists of the First International Congress of Progressive Artists and Programme of the First Working Group of Constructivists S Presentations: Dadaism Russian Constructivism (Wed, 9/28) Andre Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism (1924), pp.1-47 Andr Breton, Nadja Week 5: (Mon 10/3) Breton, Nadja Presentation: Surrealism (Wed 10/5) Nadja Week 6: (Mon, 10/10) Roger Fry, The Post-Impressionist Exhibition and On Negro Sculpture S (Wed, 10/12) Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse Week 7: (Mon, 10/17) Woolf, To the Lighthouse Presentation: Bloomsbury Group (Wed, 10/19) Erich Auerbach, The Brown Stocking from Mimesis S Weeks 8 and 9: (10/24-11/2) James Joyce, The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man Mon: pp.5-89 Wed: pp.89-127

(Mon, 10/31) pp. 128-223 Presentation: Irish modernism Wed, 11/2: Fredric Jameson, Modernism and Imperialism S Week 10 and 11: (Mon, 11/7) Frantz Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks The Fact of Blackness chapter Abstract for final paper due (Wed, 11/9 and Week 11) Aime Cesaire, The Tempest The entire play Week 12 and 13: (Mon, 11/21) Richard Wright Uncle Toms Children Presentation: Harlem Renaissance Wed, 11/23 No class (Mon, 11/28) Presentation: Jazz and modernism Week 14: Last week of classes (Wed, 12/7) Final paper due Readings: Many of the texts will need to be bought. Please buy the designated editions (check Spire). They can be found at Amherst Books. Other readings are available online. On the syllabus, S is Spark. All readings must be printed out and brought to class. Please do not come to class without hardcopies of the readings. Walter Benjamin, Illuminations (Schocken) Andre Breton, Manifestoes of Surrealism (University of Michigan Press) Andre Breton, Nadja (Grove Press)

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Harcourt) James Joyce, The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (Norton) Aime Cesaire, The Tempest (Theater Communications Group) Frantz Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks Raymond Williams, The Politics of Modernism (Verso) James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (Random House)

Requirements: Pop Quizzes: There will be pop quizzes throughout the term to check for reading. There are absolutely no make-up quizzes for any reason, so please do not ask for one. Because of this the lowest two quiz grades will be dropped. Collaborative Presentations and Papers: Each student will be asked to choose a group project to work on. The class presentations should be half an hour. The presentations should be a digital multi-media project. Be original and have fun, but please make sure that you cover the history of the group you are presenting on, and how they have influenced modernism. You will also be asked to write a collaborative paper discussing the importance of the group by looking at one theoretical piece. Identify a critical text for the group, whether it be a manifesto or an aesthetic text from any of the arts forms, and engage critically with the text, telling us why and how it is important to the movement and for the history of modernism. Please talk about both the formal and thematic elements. Please make sure that your paper is argument based. The paper should be 8-10 pages in length. Final Paper: You will be asked to write a final paper on a topic of your own choosing. It should address the questions that the class focuses on. It should focus on one text, from any of the art forms (literary, visual, performing, film). Again, please make sure that it is a critical paper, with an argument that you follow throughout the paper. It should also engage the aesthetic text in both thematic and formal ways. You should be looking at other theoretical sources also, with a minimum of eight different sources. An abstract (1 paragraph) will be due on Monday, November 7. The final paper should be 8 pages long. The papers must be written properly, with complete thoughts, sentences, and paragraphs. Attention should be paid to grammar, punctuation, and spelling. They should be double spaced, in 12-point Times or Times New Roman, with regular margins. Please cite all sources using MLA format. The paper will be due on December 7 at the beginning of class. No extensions will be granted. For each day the paper is late, the grade will drop a third: A to A-. If your paper is late, your grade will be recorded much later, and you will receive an incomplete during the interim.

Participation and Attendance: Class discussion will be 10% of your grade. Please come to class prepared to discuss the readings in a meaningful manner. Class attendance is mandatory. Three unexcused absences will result in a drop in your final grade: A to A-, etc. Please be on time. The doors will be closed when class begins. If you are late twice, it will count as one unexcused absence, etc. No food, computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices allowed in class. Evaluation: Class discussion 10% Pop quizzes 30% Presentation and collaborative paper 25% Final paper 35%