Special Topics: American Moderns
049 UMMA
W 1:00-4:00pm
3 Credit Seminar

At the dawn of the twentieth century, everything seemed new in the United States. Soon American artists, writers, political radicals, composers, dancers, and others began to explore new languages for coming to terms with modern times. Our seminar will explore some of the artistic and cultural experimentation of the first decades of the twentieth century and some of the questions the American Moderns grappled with in this period: should art deal with the facts of modern life or the realm of the spirit? Should it democratize its audience or challenge the few adventurous souls who were willing to take risks? Should it be national or universal? Does progress come through evolution or revolution? How would the "New Woman" and the "New Negro" reshape modern life in America? Would technology liberate or exploit? Through readings and discussion of literature and cultural debate of the period as well as critical historical studies of the period's art and music we will seek to understand the world of the American moderns. Student research projects and presentations will involve hands-on work with original sources including objects at the University of Michigan Museum of Art as well as film. Students will be asked to purchase several books in addition to using online readings. Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. The class includes a mandatory field trip to the Toledo Museum of Art. The field trip will require a co-pay of $20. D. 4