ENGL 374: U.S. Literature: Modernism

Course description:  A group of American writers whose first major works appeared in the 1920s was a generation “grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken.”  Gertrude Stein labeled them the lost generation, and their works mirrored the extravagance and corruption that led to their disenchantment.  This course will explore the subjects and themes of the Jazz Age, the 1920s, as they are reflected in the literature of the time, and it will examine various exits from the wasteland suggested by post-crash authors.  Cather, Anderson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Toomer, Eliot, Faulkner, and Hurston are among the authors we will read.

For Fall 2020 we will use Blackboard and our course website for background information on the works we are reading and for assignments, and we will come together in Zoom sessions each week at our scheduled class time for discussion of the material.  The tests will be “take-home,” and our exchange of ideas will be ongoing through Blackboard discussion questions and responses.  I will be available throughout the semester for individual conferences through email, cell phone, or Zoom.

About this page: This page will host course-specific page links, documents, images, and contextual information related to authors and works being studied during the semester. It will contain information that supplements, but does not replace, the contents of Blackboard and will be a platform that is, in many cases, more quickly and easily accessible than Blackboard.


  • Modernism Course Syllabus


  • Schedule of Assignments

Note on Blackboard Postings 

  • Click here fo Note on Calculation of Blackboard Postings Fall 2019

Sheet for Calculating Your Grade

  • Click here for Grade calculation sheet

Textbook List Coming Soon

(This page was updated on 25 June 2020)

Sherwood Anderson and Winesburg, Ohio (1919)

Sherwood Anderson (1876 – 1941) was born in Camden, a small Ohio farming town. After several moves the family settled in Clyde, Ohio, on which the fictional town of Winesburg in his best known book, Winesburg, Ohio (1919), is based. In his later life from 1935 Anderson lived in Virginia, and he is buried in Marion, Virginia. On his gravestone are the words “Life, Not Death, Is the Great Adventure.” Anderson was a major influence on many other American writers, including Willa Cather, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Toomer, and William Faulkner, whose works we are reading in this class. For more biographical information click here or go to Sherwood Anderson’s Memoirs, ed. By Ray Lewis White (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina Press, 1969).