The Craft of Writing
R1A - 002 | CCN: 77806
Global Modernism, Technology, and the Copy
Instructor: Aakash Suchak and Nicholaus Guttierrez
Date / Time: MW 4-530P, 130 WHEELER
What does it mean to be “modern?” This seemingly simple question has generated a variety of responses. This course seeks to understand two interrelated phenomena and the categories which represent them: aesthetic Modernism and the oft-contested historical and cultural concept of “modernity.” In addition to examining canonical examples of Modernist literature and film and historical accounts of industrial modernity, we will trace the legacies of peripheral or marginal Modernisms in post-war fiction and poetry, testing the boundaries of Modernism and “modernity” as signifiers of, among much else, period and style. Throughout the semester, we will focus on how the “copy” functions as literary homage, avant-garde subversion, mechanical reproduction, and as a metaphysical category, particularly with respect to the transnational flows of world literature. Together we will ask how Modernist authors changed (or failed to change) our idea of “the world;” why Modernism flourished in cosmopolitan centers of cultural power and prestige; and finally, how aesthetic experimentation correlated with technological innovation and the history of colonialism. Readings will span the fields of history, theory, literature, and criticism, including the work of Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Joseph Conrad, Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Rabindranath Tagore, Gertrude Stein, Allen Ginsberg, Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson, and Jean-François Lyotard.
This course satisfies the first half of the Reading and Composition (R&C) requirement. Reading and assignments are designed to prepare students for college-level reading, writing, and research. Our primary focus will be to engage engage in close textual analysis of texts, structuring arguments, and clear and persuasive writing. Assignments will include two shorter essays, three writing assignments, one in-class presentation, and a final paper. This course assumes no prior knowledge of the topic.