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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laura Eshleman
C LIT 240
Seattle Campus

Writing in Comparative Literature

Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.

Class description

Modernity and Modernisms

Literary modernism is generally known by the form it took in European and American literature in the late 1800s and early 1900s: as a movement away from Romanticism and Realism toward the fragmented and the psychological. But just a glance at global forms of modernism in literature complicates this narrow view. While many national traditions characterize their literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as "modern," few call it "modernist" because it does not share the specific historical and literary trajectory of Euro-American Modernism. Yet there are traits that are shared-- for many national traditions, the development of modern literature was directly linked to use of the vernacular, rejection of tradition and universality, globalization, reaction to traumatic historical events and the fragmentation of culture, and development of nationalism or social critique.

The goal of C Lit 240 is to hone your individual writing skills while also giving you the opportunity to grow as a critical reader. To this end, the course will examine an international sampling of modern texts using the problematic terms "modernity" and "modernism" as points of comparison for texts and as starting points for composition. We will seek an understanding of what is meant by "modernism," explore how its meaning is consistent or changes in various contexts and traditions, and probe the gap between "modernity" and "modernism."

Texts: Virginia Woolf _To The Lighthouse_, Alejo Carpentier _The Kingdom of this World_, Junichiro Tanizaki _Naomi_, and a selection of poetry, critical essays, and short fiction.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Laura Eshleman
Date: 02/16/2013