SEL3386 : Modernist Poetry: Pound to the Beats
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Dr Alex Niven
- Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
This module explores the development of modernist poetry from the early-twentieth century to the heyday of the post-war Anglo-American counterculture. It begins with the poetic revolution initiated by Ezra Pound in the 1910s and concludes with the late modernism of the Beat Generation and the British Poetry Revival.
After looking at Imagism's break with poetic tradition, we will examine various currents in modernist verse: its origins in the late-Romantic avant-garde of the nineteenth century, its ambivalent relationship with English, American and regional identities, its use of music as inspiration and ideal, the often neglected centrality of women poets and the much-contested political backdrop. In the final weeks students will look closely at how these subjects found expression in Newcastle-upon-Tyne from the 1960s onwards, in the writing and activities of local poet Basil Bunting and his circle (a field trip/walking tour of Newcastle will supplement this part of the module).
The module aims to give students a thorough grounding in the techniques and historical evolution of twentieth-century modernist poetry. Particular emphasis will be placed on Poundian modernism as a project combining aesthetic radicalism with social and political engagement.
Outline Of Syllabus
Texts for study may include works by Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Basil Bunting, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, George Oppen, Barry MacSweeney and Allen Ginsberg.
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||40:00||40:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||12||1:00||12:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||80:00||80:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||12||2:00||24:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Fieldwork||1||4:00||4:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Student-led group activity||1||10:00||10:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||30:00||30:00||N/A|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The lectures introduce students to textual, biographical and critical debates surrounding texts, providing introductory readings of relevant poems, crucial pieces of information and an overall map to guide students in their independent study. The seminars build on the lectures, independent study and study group discussions, allowing students to reflect on their reading in a participatory group environment and hone their analytical skills by way of group close reading exercises.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written exercise||1||M||40||1500-word close reading exercise OR creative exercise|
|Essay||1||A||60||2500-word comparative and critical essay|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The mid-module assignment intends to develop students' understanding of poetic form and creativity, through either a close reading of a particular poem or a creative exercise.
The 2500-word essay encourages students to develop their close-reading skills further by way of a comparative reading of poems that engages more deeply with the critical and historical backdrop to modernist poetry.