AMST 247 Fall 2014 Modernist Regionalism (W)

Cross Listed as ENGL247
Many people think of regionalist writing as a formally and thematically unsophisticated genre focused on the realistic portrayal of "local color" and the provincial concerns of the small town. However, American modernist texts regularly challenge this supposition, combining the spirit of the local with the cosmopolitanism and innovative formal strategies of the avant-garde. At the same time, a closer look at the canonical texts of "high" modernism reveals that the regional and local often suffuse these texts in surprising ways. This course will revisit the genre of regionalist writing with the aim of finding the avant-garde and the international within regionalist texts and, in turn, uncovering the unexpected regionalism of the modernist avant-garde. We will read works by authors such as Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt, Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, T. S. Eliot, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Toomer, Lorine Niedecker, Nathanial West, William S. Burroughs, and Jane Bowles. Our literary explorations will be supported by readings in critical theory and cultural geography, as well as our own reflections on the regional life of the Berkshires.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation; four short essays and a longer final essay totaling 20 pages of writing over the course of the semester
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Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: none
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses,ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1487
AMST 247 - 01 (F) SEM Modernist Regionalism (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Margaux E. Cowden
TF 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Hollander 241 1487
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