HUM 305

Modernization and Modernism

An exploration of late nineteenth and early twentieth century culture of Western Europe and the United States, organized around the concepts of modernization and modernism. The course focuses on the way in which modernist art opposes those values inherent in social and political life at the turn of the twentieth century. Against the background of the elements of modernization, including democracy, education, transportation, communication, and technology, the course considers the work of artists and intellectuals such as Nietzsche, Marx, Wagner, Freud, O'Neill, Lawrence, Joyce, Stravinsky, Kafka, Picasso, and Ives. The course also explores scholarly commentary on both the writers and artists and on the concepts developed to describe the intellectual and cultural history of the period. The course considers not only the values implicit in the major texts themselves, but also the adequacy of concepts which scholars have developed to explain them.