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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Katy Masuga
ENGL 440
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Literature

Themes and topics offering special approaches to literature.

Class description

This seminar offers a cross-section of some of the key works of, and debates surrounding, modernism in literature, film and painting. Some of the key issues to be discussed include: ekphrasis, the transparency/opacity of language, disillusionment and isolation, perspectivism, cultural instability, psychology and the self, spectatorship, questioning of traditional modes, representations of reality, pessimism/nihilism/existentialism and mass culture.

Literature: Balzac, Huysmans, Stein, Kafka, Moore, Woolf, Williams, Dos Passos, Rhys, H. Miller

Art: Alfred Stieglitz circle, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism, Expressionism, Surrealism, New York School

Film: Wiene, Keaton, Leger, Man Ray, Dreyer, Vertov, Bunuel, Chaplin, Chuck Jones

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

For each of the works considered in this course, we will examine their interrelationships and their formal and conceptual inventiveness. We will also consider the wider implications (artistic, social, political and cultural) of our findings. In particular, the seminar will focus on modernism as a mode of writing, painting and film-making in which certain questions of the modern, the new and their relations to tradition are posed.

This course will include in-class film screenings.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Weekly discussion questions; Oral research presentation; Annotated bibliography; Two, short theoretical analysis papers; Final essay


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 Katy Masuga
Date: 11/29/2009