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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Elena Deem
C LIT 320
Seattle Campus

Studies in European Literature

Examination of the development of European literature in a variety of genres and periods. Possible areas of study include literature from romantic fiction of early nineteenth century through great realist classics of second half of the century or from symbolism to expressionism and existentialism.

Class description

Between Word and Image: Historical European Avant-Garde. Art and poetry entered into an unprecedented dialogue in the first three decades of the twentieth century when the revolutionary avant-garde movements swept through Europe. The radical stances of the avant-garde allowed for unorthodox responses to preoccupations about the ever-increasing commodification of human experience which art and literature had shared for some time. Disturbing the boundaries between the two disciplines as well as between art, politics, and the general public, the avant-garde artists would reconceptualize text and image into forms which challenged classical aesthetic norms, the perceptual habits of their audience, and the socio-cultural conditions. We will examine the practices of a variety of avant-garde movements, some more and some less known, avoiding the dichotomy of margin versus center that often underpins avant-garde criticism. Besides Italy and France, we will thus venture to Spain, Czechoslovakia, and England. Our focus will be on issues that the avant-garde opened up and tried to resolve by bringing text and image to near proximity, be it in the forms of collages, manifestos, artist books, and poem-pictures, or by a more loosely defined collaboration between poets and artists across the disciplines. All readings will be in English.

Student learning goals

Survey of historical avant-garde

General method of instruction

lectures, class discussions

Recommended preparation

thorough preparation for each class

Class assignments and grading

reading of required texts, leading of select discussions, active class participation

leading of a class discussion, final exam


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 Elena Deem
Date: 08/17/2011