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, that heady period in American culture that began with the end of the First World War and lasted, roughly, through the stock market of 1929 and into the 1930s—following the peak years of the Great Migration. It was something else too: a social and literary revolution, fueled by the explosion of Jazz, new media and communications technology, popular entertainment, the phenomenon of ‘race mixing,’ and a creative renaissance in a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan called Harlem. Modernism, the Bohemians of Greenwich Village and Montparnasse, the lawlessness of the Prohibition era, are all a part of the cultural backdrop. While the white writers of the Jazz Age (Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, etc.) have generally been read in isolation from their counterparts in Harlem (Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen. Claude McKay), this course will treat them as co-equals and explore their affinities across the color line.

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Prerequisites: None.
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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