ENGL 369
American Poetry
Last Offered Spring 2024
Division I
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

In this course, we’ll read the work of some of the key figures in American poetry and poetics from the last hundred years. We’ll get an overview of the 20th century’s major poetic movements and trends, as well as an intimate sense of several contemporary poets, some of whom we will hear and meet in person. We’ll read a few writers deeply, tracing both their inheritances and also the ways they “make it new,” in Pound’s phrase, and asking what these innovations disclose about the formal, political, and experiential possibilities of poetry as a cultural form. At the same time, we will examine what these works reveal about the transactions between poetic practice and social life. How do these poems encounter the conditions of their day–wars on other shores, economic crises and globalization, commodity fetishism, technological progress, racial and gender oppression, ecological devastation–and theorize their work in relation to other forms of media? What do these poems tell us about life in the “American century”?
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3941
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: midterm paper of 6-8 pages, final research paper of 10-12 pages, thoughtful participation in class discussions
Prerequisites: either a 100-level ENGL course, a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: English majors and those intending to major in English
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories C

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