Monday, January 14, 2008

Prompt for Blog 1--Definitions of Modernism

Okay, so what are you supposed to write your first blog on? Well, Modernism. You need to read the selections on Blackboard (see explanations of reading below) and maybe also check out some of the links on the 2007 web syllabus and/or do some googling or other research of your own. Here are the basic issues I want to discuss in class:
Definition of Modernism—try to write a basic definition of modernism. Or, if making it up is too intimidating, pick quotes from your sources that help you dfine it
Main Themes and Concerns – this is another part of the definition: What ar the main themes and concerns of Modernsim?
Historical Contexts –When did Modernism start and end? Where did it happen? What were the historical events, movements etc. that impacted it? What is cultural background that leads up to British Modernism?
Who’s Who? Who are the major modernists in the various arts?
Aesthetic/Formal Characteristics – what makes Modern art modern? What characterizes Modernist poetry, novel, philosophy, music, painting, sculpture? Are there any elements held in common?
Politics – Do you have a sense of the political orientations of Modernism and various modernists? Who would vote for Hllary, who for Mitt? Who’s left, who’s right?
Most Interesting Thing(s) You Learned from the Readings
• If you want to know some basic background for Modernism, you might find the Spears essay useful—it is old and a bit out of date, represent the old school definition of Modernism
• The two Intros by Bonnie Scott will lay out the newer and newest concerns of Modernist scholars. The Table of Contents for her 2007 volume will give you quite a thorough sense of the range of gender concerns.
• Everyone needs to read Chris Reed’s chapter—that really sets up the politics of the whole course
• As for the space/place readings—skim those to get a sense of the list of concerns: what particular issues do they bring up?

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