Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4690 WASLEY, AIDAN TR 12:30 PM 0126

Topics Title
Life During Wartime: British Literature and Culture 1914-1945

The First World War ended exactly one hundred years ago, in November 1918, at the cost of millions of lives. In Britain alone, almost a million soldiers had been killed and countless more permanently disabled by injury. From the outbreak of “The Great War” in 1914 through the years of the second cataclysmic war that followed in 1939, Britain underwent massive cultural, social, and political changes. This course will chart those changes through novels, poems, essays, film, photography, painting, and music. We’ll listen to poetry and songs from the trenches and the home-front, study stories of mourning and rage and resistance, and explore the birth of modern propaganda and documentary film. We’ll witness devastating epidemics and the Great Depression, the Easter Uprising and the Irish Civil War, the rise of fascism and the end of the British Empire. We’ll read Wilfred Owen on the trauma of battle, follow George Orwell down a Yorkshire coalmine in search of political justice, engage Virginia Woolf’s social and psychological analysis of the interwar years, and watch Alfred Hitchcock deconstruct images of British national identity. Along with numerous other less familiar artists and authors of the period, we’ll also look at works by writers like W.B. Yeats, Isaac Rosenberg, Rebecca West, Christopher Isherwood, W.H. Auden, and Evelyn Waugh.