English 254 - Spring, 2016

20th Century British Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Dobbins, Gregory
CRN: 63203
Time: T 3:10-6:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Later British
Focus: ID, Other National, Method, Theory


    This course will provide coverage of the modernist canon and re-consider it in the light of what has come to be called the New Modernist Studies. This course will provide the coverage of a survey course but also would link it to the most recent critical debates identified with organizations like the Modernist Studies Association. We will begin with an interrogation of the genealogy of modernism prior to WWI, taking in aesthetic manifestos and polemics by figures like T.E. Hulme and the writers associated with Blast. We will then consider a survey of a number of critical positions that have emerged from the New Modernist Studies. The rest of the quarter will be devoted to a close focus on the following writers: W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Rebecca West, and James Joyce. In order to sharpen the historical focus of the course, we will read various texts published by those writers between the two world wars. In each case, I hope to find in these texts test cases in which to juxtapose the suppositions of recent innovative scholarship in the field against an older critical lineage regarding modernism. Texts have not yet been completely finalized, but they will definitely include the journal BLAST 1, Eliot's 'The Wasteland', Yeats' 'The Tower' and 'The Winding Stair and other Poems', Pound's 'Hugh Selwyn Mauberly' and 'A Draft of XXX Cantos', Joyce's 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man' and sections of 'Finnegans Wake', Virginia Woolf's 'The Waves' and 'Between the Acts', and Wyndham Lewis' 'Tarr'.


    One seminar paper, class presentation, active participation