Introduces twentieth-century literature and contemporary literature, focusing on representative works that illustrate literary and intellectual developments since 1900.
English 213 explores U.S. and British literary modernism and postmodernism as responses to distinct historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of the 20th century. The period witnessed two world wars--and the concomitant development of military technology that brought destruction on an unprecedented scale--economic depression; the refinement of mass production methods; continuing migration from rural to urban areas; civil and women’s rights movements; the development or proliferation of transportation, communication, entertainment and computer technologies; and the effects of globalization. Modern and postmodern literature reflects as well as shapes human perception of these phenomena. As we examine novels and poems of the era, we will focus on how artists experimented with language and form to represent the altered sense of history, space, time, and the self engendered by modernity and postmodernity.
Student learning goals
Analyze the language, structure and themes of fictional texts.
Explain the relationship between selected 20th-century literary texts and the political, social,historical and cultural contexts of their production.
Define (and recognize the limits of defining) literary modernism and postmodernism.
Develop as a critical thinker and writer who can formulate substantive arguments and explore those arguments with evidence.
General method of instruction
Short lectures, class discussion, small-group work
No prerequisite courses, but must be willing to keep up with challenging reading load, come prepared to class and participate regularly in class discussion.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly online reading responses, two contextual passage annotations, midterm and take-home final essay exams..
Grades in English 213 will be computed by points, with 400 points equaling a 4.0, 300 points a 3.0, and so on. If your total falls between grades, I will round up if you score one to five points below the higher grade and round down if you score one to four points above the lower grade. For example, 274 points equals a 2.7 and 275 points a 2.8. Students who score less than 65 points total will receive a 0 for the course, as the UW grading system does not scale grades lower than .7.
Each component of the course is worth the following number of points:
• Class Participation: 40 points • Reading Responses: 80 points • Essay exams: 160 points • annotations: 120 points
Class preparation activities will receive points on a credit/no-credit basis, with full marks awarded to responses that demonstrate genuine engagement with the assigned task. I will evaluate the presentation and essays according to specific standards that I will distribute with those assignments.