A relevant BA degree. If in doubt, please contact the Coordinator of Studies
“European Modernism” is optional for students from all specialisation tracks in Literary Studies, and offers an overview of Modernism in theory and practice in four major European literatures : English, French, German, and Italian, from approx. 1890 to 1940. After a general introductory lecture, the texts of these literatures will be approached in blocks of 3 seminars/ tutorials as being part of a language-bound cultural (and socio-historical) context, but will also be studied as part of a European network with a long and fruitful creative tradition, as Modernism is noted for its international dynamics. Keywords of this period are, among others, “subjectivity”, ‘the unconscious”, “epistemology”, “urbanization”, “empire” and “technology”. Next to a focus on the formal and (at times highly) experimental aspects of Modernist texts, this literature will be studied in a larger context (developments in the fields of science and the arts, social and political developments). The course will end with a discussion of the legacy of Modernism.
students will have a thorough insight into the notion and theory of European Modernism;
students will have knowledge of a canonic corpus of European literary texts and of their interconnections;
students will have knowledge of the contemporary debate about Modernism;
students will be able to analyze and comment upon specific literary texts, using current theoretical approaches;
students will be able to present their acquired knowledge and understanding in oral interventions, in written assignments and in a final research paper at a high intellectual and linguistic level.
research MA students should reveal in their coursework a more nuanced understanding of the complex relationship between social formations and cultural productions by means of a more detailed and thorough theoretical/methodological framework.
The timetable is available on the Literary Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Total course load : 10 EC = 280 hrs
Lectures: 26 hrs
Study of compulsory literature: 100 hrs
Assignment(s): 52 hrs
Research essay: 100 hrs
Final research paper (4000-5000 words): 80%
Research MA students will have to write an extra 3000 word paper on a topic to be decided in consultation with the tutor.
The course is divided into 4 blocks of 3 weeks each.
Participation will be assessed through 4 short written assignments: one about each of the four blocks of the course.
Blackboard will be used for: practical information and course materials.
Pericles Lewis, ed., The Cambridge Companion to European Modernism (2011); available electronically via UB Leiden
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Penguin)
James Joyce,Dubliners (Penguin)
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (Penguin)
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks (German: Fischer 2002 [orig. 1901]; Eng. transl. John E. Woods ( Alfred A. Knopf, 1994)
Else Lasker-Schüler: Star in my Forehead: Selected Poems (Transl. Janine Canan, Duluth, MN: Holy Cow! Press, 2000)
Bertolt Brecht: Dreigroschenoper (German: Suhrkamp 2013 [orig. 1928]; Engl.transl. Ralph Manheim and John Willett: The Threepenny Opera (London, Methuen, 1979), Collected Plays, Volume 2 Part 2.
Marcel Proust, The Way by Swann’s (In Search of Lost Time, vol. 1), transl. Lydia Davis, Penguin Books, 2003: parts I and III (‘Combray’ and “Place names: the name”) or the French original: Du côté de chez Swann (Garnier Flammarion)
Nathalie Sarraute, Tropisms (New Directions Publishing Company, 2015) or the French original: Tropismes (Minuit).
Pirandello, Luigi, The Late Mattia Pascal. Translated by William Weaver. Eridanos Press, c.1987 / Paperback – November 30, 2004 or in Dutch translation: Wijlen Mattia Pascal. Amsterdam : Coppens & Frenks, 2007 (or paperback, Singel Uitgevers)
Svevo, Italo, Zeno's Conscience. Translated by William Weaver. New York: Vintage International, 2001;or in Dutch translation: Svevo, Italo, Bekentenissen van Zeno, vertaald door Jenny Tuin. Athenaeum - Polak & van Gennep.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. You can register until two weeks after classes have started however students are advised to register as soon as possible and preferably before the start of the course. In the case of electives: please be aware that most electives have a maximum amount of students who can enroll. Do not approach the course instructor in case the class is full. You will automatically be put on a waiting list.
In case you have difficulties with registering for courses you may ask the student administration at Van Wijkplaats for assistance. Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Always include your name, student number, the course title and the concerning activity number (see schedule).
General information about uSis is available on the website
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher: Dr. A.E. Schulte-Nordholt
Coordinator of studies: Mr. J. Donkers, MA
It is strongly advised to read at least the following works during the summer:
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Penguin)
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks (Fischer 2002)
Marcel Proust, The Way by Swann’s (In Search of Lost Time, vol. 1), transl. Lydia Davis, Penguin Books, 2003: parts I and III (‘Combray’ and “Place names: the name”).