The Jazz Age Revisited (LIT2304.02)

Benjamin Anastas

“It was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his epitaph to the Jazz Age in 1931. It was something else too: a social and literary revolution fueled by new communications technology, mass popular entertainment, Jazz and the Blues, and a bold “collaborative energy” (Ann Douglas) between the Black artists of the Harlem Renaissance and the largely white figures who were grouped together as the Lost Generation. Together, these brave pioneers in Paris and in Manhattan, connected by affinities that crossed the color line, made up the “shock troops of Modernity.” We’ll start with Jazz, the Blues, and the long tradition of white appropriation—or theft by a nicer name—in American culture, and then we’ll pair readings of Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Stein et al with their counterparts in Harlem: Nella Larson, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer and George S. Schuyler.

Learning Outcomes:

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM-5:20PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

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