ENGL 352 Spring 2014 The Global Avant Garde in Literature and Film (D)

Cross Listed as COMP351
Chic, sophisticated, experimental, bohemian, radical: the words we think of when we think of the "avant garde" call to mind the great cities of Europe and America in the early decades of the twentieth century. The usual suspects hail from Paris, London, Moscow, Rome, and New York, but many of them claimed to be mining the ¿naïve arts¿ and primitive energies of the "uncivilized societies" in Africa, Asia, and beyond. Can we recover these Others, these understudied but essential artists, as more than unconscious transmitters of unfamiliar cultures, and locate in their work a distinct set of aesthetic and political practices? Can we trace the global vectors of a representational strategy that is not Euro-American but is nevertheless politically and formally radical? Writers and directors like Jean Toomer, G.V. Desani, Amos Tutuola, Émile Habiby, Jean Genet, Aimé Césaire, Haroun Farocki, Patrick Chamoiseau, Claire Denis, and Andrea Arnold will help us locate and consider the explosive diversity of a broader avant garde¿s experiments with image, sound, and language, as well as how these texts have contributed to and put pressure on more traditionally Western modernisms. In posing a question about the geographical and cultural purview of the Avant Garde around the time of the world wars, this class encourages students to interrogate the transmissibility of aesthetic practice in an age of global upheaval. We will look to writers and artists working in a variety of traditions and, equally importantly, against those traditions, in order to examine the vectors of power and resistance that inflect a particular form of modernist expression.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly discussion questions, one short provocation paper of 2-3 pages or a creative project, presentation, and a research paper of 10-12 pages
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Prerequisites: a 100 level English course, or a score of 5 on the AP Exam in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate
Enrollment Preference: English majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: ASAM Related Courses,ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 3905
ENGL352-01(S) SEM The Global Avant Garde (D) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity Initiative Anjuli F. Raza Kolb
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Schapiro Hall 137 3905
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