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Form and Subjectivity in 20th-Century US Poetry

Class at Faculty of Arts |


This course examines 20th century American poetry, emphasizing stylistic and formal continuities and disruptions and the debates surrounding them, particularly in terms of literary and social subjectivity. Paying particular attention to issues of identity, the course highlights the ongoing, fluctuating relationship between poetics and politics.

Beginning with the influence of the British formal tradition on American poets at the close of the 19th century, the course surveys the most significant formal developments of the 20th century, balancing close readings of poems with critical and theoretical essays. Upon completion of the course, students will have a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of poetic form and a greater awareness of how American poets and critics have utilized form to mark both literary and social differences.