Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4690 WASLEY, AIDAN MWF 2 :30 PM 0259

Topics Title
Nation/Place/Identity in Modern Poetry

This course will explore in-depth the work of a number of modern and contemporary poets whose careers illuminate fundamental questions of nationality, identity, regionalism, citizenship, travel, and exile against the cultural and historical backdrop of a twentieth- and twenty-first century of international conflict, migration, colonialism, tourism, and displacement. We’ll look at a variety of different kinds of poets, including transatlantic writers who define themselves against the homelands they have left behind, poets who use their travels in the world to explore what it means to return home, poets who engage and complicate ideas of writing within a specific national tradition, and poets whose experiences of war or political turmoil provoke questions about the meaning and consequences of nationalism. We will examine the relation between artistic identity and national identity, chart continuities and divergences between American, British, Irish, and Caribbean poetic traditions, and interrogate the notion of an emergent “post-national” English-language poetics. While these themes and issues will feature prominently in our discussions, we will also devote considerable time to the analysis of individual poems, balancing our general thematic readings with close attention to specific aspects of each poet’s work. Poets to be read may include Ezra Pound, H.D., Hart Crane, Mina Loy, T.S. Eliot, Louis MacNeice, W.H. Auden, Keith Douglas, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Basil Bunting, Derek Walcott, Gary Snyder, Kamau Brathwaite, Thom Gunn, James Merrill, Eavan Boland, Paul Muldoon, Claudia Rankine, and others.