U.S. Modernism and the Environment
Proposed Instructor: Paulina Gonzales

In this course, we will examine literary and visual representations of the environment in U.S. modernism to explore how artists working in the inter-war period (1918-1939) understood the changing relationships between people and their places. During a time of increased urbanization, (im)migration, and further encroachment onto native lands, we will assess the enduring power of landscapes in identity and cultural formations. We will read a wide-array of modernist texts that may include the novels of Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, John Joseph Mathews, and John Steinbeck, as well as explore selections of modern poetry, visual art, photography, and music to deepen our understanding of the thematic, formal, and linguistic strategies to represent the environment. In light of our readings, we will re-evaluate the definitions and periodizations of U.S. modernist studies as a project in excavating the underpinnings of contemporary ecocritical inquiry.
► Flyer (PDF)