Modernism, Realism, Imperial Crisis

An investigation of the connections between the crises of realism and the historical novel, the emergence of high modernism, magical realism, and various forms of postcolonial historical narrative considered in the wider global context of inter-imperial conflict, anti-imperial struggle, and the restructuring of the world capitalist system. The seminar will combine literary readings, critical theory, and contemporary studies on ‘world literature’ to explore ruptures and developments in modern fiction and the politics of empire in Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia.

Course Requirements:

Students are expected to attend class punctually, to be well-prepared, and to contribute regularly and meaningfully to seminar discussions. They will be required to offer one class presentation and to submit one or two questions on a regular basis in advance of some of the classes to sharpen and develop ideas prior to discussions. One final paper at the end of the semester.

Required Texts:

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1899)

Joseph Conrad, Nostromo (1904)

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) [selections]

C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins (1938)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)

Marguerite Duras, The Lover (1984)

Monique Truong, The Book of Salt, A Novel (2003)

Georg Lukács, The Historical Novel (1938)

Erich Auerbach, Mimesis (1953)

Pascale Casanova, The World Republic of Letters (1994)

Franco Moretti, Modern Epic (1995)

David Scott, Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (04)

Also CPLT 855.

Graduate Course #: 
M 3:30pm-5:20pm
Course Attribute: 
20th/21st Century
20th/21st Century