AMST 247
Modernist Regionalism Fall 2014
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed AMST 247 / ENGL 247
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1487
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation; four short essays and a longer final essay totaling 20 pages of writing over the course of the semester
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 Preferences: none
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AMST 247 Division II ENGL 247 Division I
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C

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