This course is a survey of
literature written in English since 1900. By literature, I mean, for the most
part, canonical literary texts. By English I mean the language varieties used
by writers from the British Isles, the United States, the Commonwealth
countries, and any of the erstwhile British colonies in Africa, Asia, the
Americas, the Indian subcontinent, and the Pacific: wherever English has come
to be viewed as a medium for literary expression. It is the contention of this
course that, than rather being written solely in the context of isolated
nation-states, literature in English has been written with a more global
“imagined community” in mind. Thus we will consider how readers from different
locations address similar concerns across boundaries that are not only
political, but determined by such factors as race, ethnicity, gender, culture,
and historical experience: boundaries that are themselves often ideologically
constructed by literary traditions. We will also see how new literatures
construct new categories of experience with which readers may identify. Above
all, we will look at the role of English-language literature in shaping the
history and literary consciousness of the past century.
NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF BRITISH LITERATURE VOL F: THE
TWENTIETH CENTURY AND AFTER. 8th Edition (available at Revolution Books).
Course Reader (available at MaPS).
and participation, mid-term, final, homework and in-class writing assignments,
two five-page papers.