Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


English 343. Fictions of the Modern

Fiction responding to the radical changes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – industrialization, urbanization, colonization, mass culture, the women’s movement, and the emerging scientific studies of sex and sexuality. We will study writers who searched for new ways to represent and explore experiences that the traditional novel did not or could not express. The novel’s response to emerging media such as film and radio will also be central to the course. The course’s thematic focus will vary from year to year, but will always include comparison between writers from the modernist period with one or two later 20th century or contemporary novels. In Spring 2017, the course focus will be on novelist’s treatment of modern ideas of gender and sexuality, figures such as the effeminate homosexual, the mannish woman, the new woman, the immigrant, and the spinster. We will read works by authors such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, May Sinclair, Samuel Selvon, Jean Rhys, Dorothy Sayers, and Radclyffe Hall.