Modernism: Text and Screen - ARTS2036

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of the Arts and Media

Course Outline: School of the Arts and Media

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: 30 units of credit at Level 1

CSS Contribution Charge: 1 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: English
This course can also be studied in the following specialisation: Creative Writing, Film Studies

This course provides a rich and panoramic survey of the early Twentieth Century’s most dynamic and aesthetically invigorating cultural movement. Moving back and forth between select cinematic and literary texts, the course opens pathways between these two critical Modernist media. It demonstrates how writers were adopting technical ideas from the new mechanical medium, even as artists and poets turned to the cinema to exploit its ‘poetic’ capacities. Navigating a pathway though some of the most exciting avant-garde currents in Europe and America, the course blends primary documents with key critical materials in order to instill a thorough understanding of Modernist cultural forms. It also considers the phenomenon of ‘vernacular modernism’ in mainstream Hollywood films, and interrogates both Hollywood’s popularisation of certain experimental features and its patronage of hungry writers in the Great Depression.

The course is structured around three intensive modules:
(1) Avant-garde Modernism in film and writing.
(2) High Modernism, the moment of ""masterpieces"".
(3) Vernacular Modernism, the vulgate of modernity.

Scientia Lawn

Study Levels

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