Modernist Studies

This area conventionally takes as its referent the experiments in style and form characteristic of various modernist movements in the arts from around 1890 to 1939. However, in keeping with recent critical re-formulations of modernism, texts read in these courses cross genres and national boundaries, and many of them stretch conventional designations of the modernist period. For example, we offer courses that concentrate on individual writers such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein, but here and elsewhere we question the formation of a modernist literary canon. Faculty who teach these courses specialize in the following: constructions of modernism; modernism-modernity; modernism-postmodernism; histories and theories of the avant-garde; transcultural modernism (crosscurrents between the colonies and Britain); Caribbean modernism; the Harlem Renaissance, experimental poetics; modernist satire; fin-de-siecle "decadence"; Bloomsbury; Irish studies; queer Modernism (Anglo-American and French); interdisciplinary currents (including music, visual art, and dance); prose-fiction (including satire and literary "confession"); 19th-century survivals (Romantic and Victorian ideologies within 20th-century discourse); and critical theory.

Sample courses in the Modernist Studies specialty:

  • Anglo-American Modernism
  • Selected Writings of Virginia Woolf
  • The Harlem Renaissance, Art Forms of Queer Identity
  • The Encyclopedic Poem
  • Confessional Narrative in Post-Structural Perspective
  • Transcultural Modernism
  • Finnegans Wake and Phenomenology

Faculty