Fall 2012: ENGL 482 - Topics in Language and Literature: Modernist Paris

Wednesdays, 6-9 PM

CRN 75363

Early twentieth-century Paris was a crossroads for innovators across the arts and was crucial to the formation of what we now understand as “Modernism.”  It has also been the subject of considerable myth-making, from the memoirs of key players in Parisian modernism such as Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, and Gertrude Stein to the more recent successes of Woody Allen’s 2011 film Midnight in Paris and Monique Truong’s 2003 novel The Book of Salt.  Beginning with Allen’s film and Truong’s novel, this course will reflect on the myths associated with “Modernist Paris” while exploring the work of a variety of its most celebrated movements and figures.  We will look at modernist movements across the arts, such as cubism, dada, futurism, surrealism, and symbolism;  view paintings, photographs, and films by Brassaï, Luis Buñuel, Claude Cahun, Paul Cézanne, Salvador Dalí, Germaine Dulac, Henri Matisse, Lee Miller, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, and others;  listen to music and view performances by Josephine Baker, Isadora Duncan, Erik Satie, Igor Stravinsky, and others;  and read literature by Guillaume Apollinaire (selected poems), Djuna Barnes (Nightwood), Elizabeth Bishop (selected poems), André Breton (Nadja), Countee Cullen (selected poems), Jessie Fauset (selected stories), F. Scott Fitzgerald (“Babylon Revisited”), Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises), Langston Hughes (selected poems and The Big Sea), Henry James ("The Reverberator"), Henry Miller (“Walking Up and Down in China”), Anaïs Nin (selections from the Diary), Gertrude Stein (The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Tender Buttons, and selected portraits of modernist figures), and more.  Prospective students with questions about the class are invited to contact me at cecoffman@alaska.edu

Books Ordered from the UAF Bookstore:

Antliff, Mark and Patricia Leighten.  Cubism and Culture.  London and New York:  Thames and Hudson, 2001.  ISBN 0-500-2034203.

Barnes, Djuna.  Nightwood.  New York:  New Directions, 2006.  ISBN-10: 0811216713;  ISBN-13: 978-0811216715.

Breton, André.  Nadja.  New York:  Grove, 1994.  ISBN-10: 0802150268;  ISBN-13: 978-0802150264.

Hemingway, Ernest.  A Moveable Feast.  New York:  Scribner, 1996. ISBN-13:  9780684824994.

Hemingway, Ernest.  The Sun Also Rises.  New York:  Scribner, 2006.  ISBN-10: 0743297334;  ISBN-13: 978-0743297332.

Hughes, Langston.  The Big Sea:  An Autobiography.  Hill and Wang, 1993.  ISBN-10: 0809015498;  ISBN-13: 978-0809015498

Stein, Gertrude.  Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein.  Ed. Carl Van Vechten.  New York:  Vintage, 1990.  ISBN-10: 0679724648;  ISBN-13: 978-0679724643.

Truong, Monique.  The Book of Salt.  Mariner Books, 2004.  ISBN-10: 0618446885;  ISBN-13: 978-0618446889.

Additional readings will be available electronically.

Chris Coffman,
Mar 13, 2012, 10:35 PM