ENGL 1110 A (CRN: 95170)
English: Politicsof Modernity-20C Novel
3 Credit Hours
Subjects vary by semester. Representative topic: Jane Austen, Page and Film. May be repeated for credit with different content. Topics vary by offering; periodic offering at intervals that may exceed four years.
Open to degree and PACE students
Early twentieth-century writers sought to represent human experience in a time of revolutionary change while breaking decisively with traditional modes of thought and representation. In this course, we will read novels by Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell that confront the crisis of modernity: think urbanization, industrial/technological revolutions, global war, and transformative intellectual ferment in the sciences and social sciences and in the arts and humanities—developments for which such names as Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Picasso, Stravinsky, Einstein, and Heisenberg may serve as a shorthand. We will read our texts as political novels, understanding politics in the broadest sense of the term: not only parliamentary politics, electoral politics, and political economy but also all of the tensions and conflicts emergent when two or more people are in any way associated. As Aristotle says in Part II of his Politics, man (“man” is Aristotle’s term, of course, for the human species) is “by nature a political animal” and politics begins, he says, with the binary female-male pair necessary for reproduction. Thus, we will be concerned as much (and mostly more) with sexual politics—and with issues of class, caste, and race—as with ideologies, national policy, and statecraft.
The essential requirements of this course are to do all the assigned reading and to show up for class prepared for discussion. In-person attendance is required unless explicitly excused for cause (quarantine, illness, religious observance, team travel, etc.), but for those excused from in-person attendance, all classes will be livestreamed via Teams and recorded. There will be a reading quiz on each text, required journals, and midterm and final exams.
Components of final grade: average of grades on reading quizzes (lowest grade dropped from average): 20%; journals: 20%; mid-term exam (short answers and essays), 25%; final exam (short answers and essays), 35%
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