CLIT3022: Critiques of Modernity

Fall 2021| 6 Credits | Dr. Daniel ELAM

What is ‘modernity’? When is/was ‘modernity’? What do modernity’s aesthetic and political forms look like? This course will examine literary, philosophical, and political texts that wrestle with the notion of ‘modernity’. These texts are often marked by literary experimentation, abstraction, and a concern for the intersection between philosophy and literature. Traditionally many scholars suggested that modernity ‘began’ in Europe and spread outwards around the world. More recently, scholars from Africa, South Asia, and East Asia have argued against this, though in different ways. This course will explore ‘modernity’ and ‘modernism’ as it took place around the world in the first half of the twentieth-century. We will read novels and philosophical texts from various ‘modernities’ and ‘modernist’ movements from Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia.