Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE High Modernism in English and American Literature

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit is an introduction to the concept of literary modernism through some of the main examples in American writing during the inter-war period between 1920 and 1930. In particular, the study-unit will focus on Modernism as a mode of writing in which certain questions of the modern, the new and their relations to tradition are posed.

The literary forms that emerged in the decades around 1910-1930, as industrialisation, urbanisation and other forces of modernity reshaped society, will also be explored. Because the modernists were experimenting with new forms during a period of radically changing values, close reading of literary works in the context of the period is the method of study.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:

- Study the period of Modernism, engaging with some of its major authors and reflecting on the historical, intellectual, cultural and technological changes of the period;
- Introduce some of the principal literary texts in the society and culture within which they were written and read;
- Develop skills in writing on and constructing an argument about the set texts and issues;
- Provide a firm basis for further studies in modernist writing.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Show awareness of the concept of literary modernism;
- Recognise and discuss a text's stylistic and generic features, as well as its themes and concerns;
- Demonstrate familiarity with key examples of modernist literature, particularly the set texts.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Undertake close textual reading of some of the larger modernist texts, relating these to key developments in modernism in the 1910s and 20s;
- Develop the ability to analyze and engage in scholarly debates about modernist literature.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

All students should own a copy of the books for their own personal use.

- Ernest Hemingway: The Sun also Rises.
- F.S. Fitzgerald: Tender is the night.
- William Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury.
- Gertrude Stein: The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
- Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway.
- Djuna Barnes: Nightwood.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Maria Frendo

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.