Section Information for Spring 2017
ENGH 454: “Who Needs the Avant-Garde?”
Modernism was all about innovation and the “avant-garde”—a dream, an aspiration, a brand—aimed to be the sharpened tip of Modernism’s spear. In the end, there were many avant-gardes and many movements (the Futurists, the Dadaists, the Surrealists, the Objectivists and on and on to our very own day), and for all their cross-fertilization, they were each specific to their own time and place. In this class, we will look at aesthetic ferment in New York in the 1950s and 1960s and specifically at the way that visual art, performance and poetry made each other interesting and crazy. Poets will include John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, Ted Berrigan, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Hannah Weiner.
Bring your bongos and your fancy French beret.