E304 16252 LITERATURES IN ENGLISH, 1900-PRESENT
10:10a-11:00a MWF (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.
In 1930 C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards began promoting a simplified international language called BASIC (“British American Scientific International Commercial”), which reduced English to 850 words. While English has become the global lingua franca for business and research that Ogden and Richards envisioned, it has done so not through simplification but by becoming increasingly complex (a phenomenon inseparable from European colonial and American imperialist ventures) until, at the end of the twentieth century, Gary Snyder will pronounce this transformed “Franco- Germanic-Anglian creole known as English” a “kiva full of lore, to be studied and treasured by writers and scholars wherever they may find themselves on the planet.” We will trace this expansion and transformation of Anglophone literature over the turbulent course of the twentieth century, with particular focus on both the promises and the traumas of emigration, expatriation, and cosmopolitanism. No survey of a century’s worth of literature can claim to be comprehensive, but this course does aim to offer texts from several sites of cross-cultural contact representative of larger movements, including transatlantic modernism, the Harlem renaissance, post- colonialism, postmodernism, and ethnopoetics.
Texts have not been finalized but will include many of the following:
The Wasteland (Norton Critical ed.), T.S. Eliot
The Lost Lunar Baedeker, Mina Loy
The New Negro: Voices of the Harlem Renaissance, ed. Alain Locke
Nohow On, Samuel Beckett
Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
No Name in the Street, James Baldwin
Dogeaters, Jessica Hagedorn
Coming to Jakarta: A Poem about Terror, Peter Dale Scott
East, West, Salman Rushdie
The Gary Snyder Reader
Poems for the Millennium, Vol. 1, ed. Rothenberg and Joris
Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee
On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, Jacques Derrida
Excerpts from the journals transition and Alcheringa; critical essays by Walter Benjamin, Gilles Deleuze, Geoffrey Hartman, Lyn Hejinian, Ezra Pound, Mary Louise Pratt, Barrett Watten, et al.
Regular attendance is expected. Assignments will include weekly informal writing, two major essays, and a final exam.