Twentieth-Century Timeline

Because our class is small (7 students), I will be working individually with each of you in a tutorial for the remainder of the semester. This will allow some of you who need to work more flexibility in your schedules; it also means that I am relying on you to be engaged in the tutorials—finding and following your interests, completing the work, and meeting deadlines. The written work you produce will be visible on the blogs, and I will be writing on the blog to engage us as a class—summarizing interesting questions each of you is raising, highlighting themes and discoveries in your thinking and writing, and pointing to relevant lines of inquiry for your projects.

With the necessary changes to the editorial timeline we will have four weeks to map twentieth-century poetry and poetics. Here is what we will do:

  • Readings: you will read the texts posted on the course blog for each week. These selections may be abridged, and they will be eclectic; the idea is for each of you to become familiar with representative as well as exemplary poems, as well as with contextual and intertextual concerns;
  • Annotation: each week, by Wednesday PM, you will annotate at least two of the texts on the timeline using our class group in I will also be annotating the poems and prose statements by poets;
  • Weekly Commentary: on Sunday April 5, 12, and 19 you will post on your blog a 1000-word (2 single-spaced pages or 4 double-spaced pages) commentary on one of the texts. Each of these three short essays may be on a poem, and/or a prose statement, and will include close reading, and relevant information on the production and reception of the poem. Rather than follow a template as we did for the 19th-century poems, these commentaries are short essays that will be informed, sophisticated, and written for a general audience. (The annotations will be useful as a place to register the points of interest and critical perspective that you can then build on in these short weekly essays.) 
  • Final Essay: Due Friday, May 8. This essay will be on a subject of your choice. The emphasis will be on 20th-century American poetry and/or poetics. A proposal for the essay will be due on Wednesday, April 22. I will give you feedback on the proposal and then you will have two weeks to complete the work. We will work individually and as a class to identify and access primary and secondary materials for your work.

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