American Literature
March 2020

Short Story and Poetry Independent Projects: American Modernism

Choose an artist or writer from the late 19th or early 20th centuries and write a research paper on how their art relates to “American Modernism”. 

Your task is to write an analytical essay in which you generate a thesis statement about a common theme you find in the short stories, poems, or other artifacts by a particular artist from the Modern Era. The purpose of your research is to find information which will help you interpret the poems, stories or other artifacts which you have chosen to analyze. You are not writing a report on the artist's biography or a simple overview of the artist's work. Instead, use your research to help you devise a great thesis statement which explains the artist's purpose in the works you have selected. Be on the look out for ways that your writer's or artists' ideas have been influenced by Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx and Freud. (See The Zeitgeist of Modernism)

The paper should be about five pages in length. You need to use at least three sources. In addition to the internet links suggested below, please check out the Thomson Gale Literature Resources Center, JSTOR, or Bloom's Literary Reference Online which you can link to on the Gilman On-line Database Page.

Final Draft due Thursday, March 13th at 3:30 pm

Here are your choices:

Short Stories, Novels,  Poetry and Plays:

Modern American Art and Architecture: 

Modern Music: 

Jazz: America's Classical Music (1992) Grover Sales  NY, NY Da Capo Press
Chapter 2 "The Nature of Jazz" (pp. 9-47) 
Chapter 3 "The Growth of Jazz" (pp. 48-100)

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns (PBS Webpage) 
The Red Hot Jazz Archive: A History of Jazz Before 1920 
Jazz Profiles (NPR)

George and Ira Gershwin

Journalism/ Sociology/ Science:

More Resources: