English 440 Major American Writers Fall 2004  
  Gertrude Stein

William Carlos Williams

Louis Zukofsky  

Course information

English 440-01, CRN 17559

Asst. Professor Steve Evans

Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-3:15pm in Neville Hall 208

syllabusclass log

Course Overview

This course will investigate the works of three major American modernist writers—Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofsky—within the context of the social, political, artistic, and intellectual movements of their day. Topics to be explored include: modernism and the avant-garde; erotic economies and the writing of desire; the politics of poetic representation; and the shaping of "American" identity in the first half of the twentieth century.


A provisional reading syllabus is available here. As you will see there, rather than take each writer in isolation, we'll pursue a braided strategy whereby each class session will touch upon some texts/aspects of each writer, with emphases shifting from class to class.

Assigned Texts

Gertrude Stein

Writings 1903-1931
Library of America (volume 99)

William Carlos Williams

New York: New Directions, 1971

Selected Poems (edited by Charles Tomlinson)
New York: New Directions, 1985

New York: New Directions, 1963

Louis Zukofsky

Johns Hopkins, 1993

Complete Short Poetry
Johns Hopkins, 1997

Prepositions + [recommended]
Edited by Charles Bernstein and Mark Scroggins

Writing & Projects

Students will write formal essays of approximately 1000-words on each of the three writers we'll be studying.

Students will also bring to completion a substantial project centered on one or more of the writers.

If you intend to make this course you're capstone, it is essential that you inform me of this decision within the first two meetings of class.

Evaluative Criteria for Semester Grade

Formal essays = 45 points (15 each)

Final project = 45 points

Attendance, participation, and preparedness = 10 points

Note that attendance is mandatory. Semester grades will be lowered by one-third for each unexcused absence in excess of the two permitted to all students.

If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please contact either the instructor or the Onward program (http://www.umaine.edu/onward/), as early as possible in the term.

Assistant Professor Steve Evans • 215 Neville Hall • 581-3809 • "Steven Evans" on FC • OH Tuesdays 3:30-5pm