nl en

Literature 5B: Anglo-American Modernism


Admission Requirements



This course will give an overview of literature written in Great Britain, Ireland and the United States between ca. 1890 and 1940, the period of Modernism, noted for its international and transatlantic dynamics. Keywords of this period are “subjectivity”, “epistemology”, “relativism” and “-ism”. Next to a focus on the formal and 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).
We will study canonical Modernist writers such as W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, as well as the importance of the various avant-garde manifestoes and magazines.

Course Objectives

This course will extend and deepen the power of students’ literary critical analysis through in-depth consideration of texts. Students will explore critical debates central to the literature of the Modernist period. The course will also aim to extend the students’ skills in the reading of narrative and the understanding of the relationship of a text to its cultural/social context. Students will be encouraged to share analytical and critical views on the texts ascribed in class discussion, and will focus research skills in the writing of a final essay. This essay will be on a relevant subject of their own choice within the parameters of the course, and will further extend the students’ critical skills and their ability to produce good, clear writing. A final exam will test students’ knowledge of the literature of the period, and give them an opportunity to display their insight, their familiarity with the texts, and the range of their critical ideas.


The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.

Mode of Instruction

Two hour seminar per week.


Final essay (50%); written test (50%).


This course is not supported by Blackboard. Students should sign up before the beginning of the semester.

Reading list

  • Lawrence Rainey, ed., Modernism: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2005).

  • James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Penguin.)

  • E.M Forster, A Passage to India (Penguin).

  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (Penguin).

  • William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury .

  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (Oxford World’s Classics).

  • Henry James, The Wings of the Dove (Penguin).


Students can register through uSis.

Register for ‘Contractonderwijs’ via:

Register for ‘À la Carte’ via:

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail: