ROMLANG 498 - Senior Seminar in Romance Languages and Literatures
Section: 001 The European Avant-garde and Its Material World
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Romance Languages and Literatures (ROMLANG)
Department: LSA Romance Languages & Literatures
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
RLL concentrators and senior standing.
Other Course Info:
Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term, the final grade is posted for both term's elections.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

This seminar will focus on the historic avant-garde in Europe from 1918 to 1930, a period of unprecedented experimentation in the literary and visual arts. We will explore how young writers and artists—in France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal—participated in a broad international exchange of ideas, transmitted through correspondence, literary journals, and frequent travels. Caught up in the “isms” of the day—cubism, futurism, dada-ism, ultraism, surrealism—the vanguardists embraced all things new, not only in the arts, but also in technology, commerce, and mass spectacle. They enthusiastically incorporated into their artworks, the new machines, fashions, sports, automobiles, airplanes, telecommunications, and myriad other emblems of modern life. In this sense, they sought to engage with their own present day and to understand a world that was undergoing a rapid technological and cultural transformation. The works of the European Avant-Garde may thus resonate with us in our own time of ever more rapid change.

We will read and discuss representative avant-garde works—manifestoes, poems, short narratives, paintings, and films—within a small seminar format, which will provide students with opportunities to pursue their own interests. Each student will undertake a research project on a topic of his/her choice—be it one of the “isms,” or a given writer/artist/photographer/film-maker, or one of the emblematic objects of modern life as it appears in avant-garde works (for example, aviation, sports, machines, fashions, etc.). At the end of the course, each student will give a presentation on their research project and submit a final paper. Other assignments include: a presentation on an avant-garde journal, a translation, a manifesto, and a choice of creative responses. All readings will be available on Canvas.

Class Format:

ROMLANG 498 - Senior Seminar in Romance Languages and Literatures
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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