Spelling Error #1
Don’tWrite “then” when you mean “than.”
The first is a description of time—“I wrote
the sales letter and then I wrote the
advertisement”—while the other is used
when making a comparison—“I am nicer
than you are!”
Introduction to American
2. The teams will change on or near exam
3. You must change at least 50% of your team
after each project is completed.
4. You may never be on a team with the same
person more than twice.
5. You may never have a new team composed
of more than 50% of any prior team.
1. We will often use teams to
earn participation points.
Your teams can be made
up of 4 or 5 people.
Points will be earned
for correct answers to
contributions to the
discussion, and the
willingness to share
your work. Each team
will track their own
points, but cheating
leads to death (or
loss of 25
and questions must
be posed in a
Those who speak
out of turn or with
not receive points
for their teams.
At the end of each class,
you will turn in a point
sheet with the names of
everyone in your group
and your accumulated
points for the day.
It is your responsibility to
make the sheet, track the
points, and turn it in.
Sit near your team
members in class to
facilitate ease of group
+ Your First
Get into groups of
three or four. (1-2
If you can’t find a
group, please raise
Once your groups is
one person to be the
keeper of the points.
Write down members’
Turn in your sheet at
the end of the class
Take 10 minutes to discuss the
Historical events that took place
between the wars
Aspects of literary modernism
Radical social changes that took
place during the interwar period.
+ Historical events that took
place between the wars
The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1920)
American women’s efforts to win the right to vote were “given a final push by women’s
work as nurses and ambulance drivers during the war” (NAAL 4).
The Immigration Act of 1924
“prohibited all Asian immigration and set quotas for other countries on the basis of
their existing U.S. immigrant populations, intending thereby to control the ethnic
makeup of the United States” (NAAL 4).
The Great Migration (c. 1910–1930)
the American landscape was transformed by the internal migration of two million
African Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the Northeast,West, and
The Two Wars as Historical Markers
During the period of literary history that falls between 1914
(the beginning of World War I) and 1945 (the end of World War
II), the United States grew and changed in radical ways.
The Two Wars as Historical Markers
The first Red scare (1919–1920)
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the birth of the Soviet Union, American
leftists looked to socialism and communism as models for the labor movement in the
United States. Many Americans were intensely suspicious of European-style
socialism, and the first Red scare of the twentieth century took place during this
time, a generation earlier than the McCarthyism that took hold following World War
The stock market crash (1929)
The stock market crash of 1929 and the decade-long Great Depression that followed
it were also events both international and domestic in scope
The Great Depression (c. 1929–1939)
Unemployment in the United States reached a high of twenty-five percent during the
Depression years, international trade dropped off by fifty percent.
tradition vs. innovation:
“One conflict centered on the uses of literary tradition.To some, a
work registering its allegiance to literary history—through allusion
to canonical works of the past or by using traditional poetic forms
and poetic language—seemed imitative and old-fashioned.To
others, a work failing to honor literary tradition was bad or
incompetent writing” (NAAL 6).
“The two wars . . . bracket a period during which the
United States became a fully modern nation” (NAAL 6).
The aspects of social and political modernity that are laid
out in the previous slides have their counterpart in literary
modernism, which is better defined as a series of conflicts
rather than as a homogeneous set of characteristics.
serious vs. popular literature:
“A related conflict involved the place of popular culture in
serious literature.Throughout the era, popular culture
gained momentum and influence. Some writers regarded
it as crucial for the future of literature that popular forms,
such as film and jazz, be embraced; to others, serious
literature by definition had to reject what they saw as the
cynical commercialism of popular culture” (NAAL 6).
politics vs. aesthetics
“Another issue was the question of how far literature
should engage itself in political and social struggle.
Should art be a domain unto itself, exploring aesthetic
questions and enunciating transcendent truths, or should
art participate in the politics of the times?” (NAAL 6).
Radical social changes that
took place during the
Changing Times: How does Thomas Hart
Benton’s 1931 painting City Activities with
Subway reflect the radical social changes that
took place during the interwar period.
Changing Times:The Nineteenth Amendment to the
Constitution officially gave women the right to vote. Unofficially,
the amendment also opened up new arenas for women to
explore—politically, sexually, artistically, and socially.
Suffragists Audre Osborne and Mrs. James Stevens.
Changing Times:These two women illustrate the era's penchant
for both fun and recklessness by doing the Charleston on a
rooftop ledge.Their playful posturing also reflects the risks that
women were taking in an era of greater opportunity.
December 11, 1926, Chicago, Illinois.
Changing Times:The increasing mainstream popularity of
African American artists, writers, and performers in cities like
Chicago and NewYork during the interwar period is a complex
phenomenon to account for, stemming from a movement toward
racial equality on the one hand and an escalation in racially
motivated violence that contributed to the Great Migration of
two million African Americans from the South on the other.
An audience at Harlem's Cotton Club, a popular nightclub, watches a
performance. April 18, 1934.
Changing Times:“Class inequality, as well as American racial
divisions, continued to generate intellectual and artistic debate
in the interwar years.The nineteenth-century United States had
been host to many radical movements—labor activism,
utopianism, socialism, anarchism—inspired by diverse sources.
In the twentieth century, especially following the rise of the
Soviet Union, the American left increasingly drew its intellectual
and political program from the Marxist tradition” (NAAL 8).
Bement Miles Pond
Company. A general
view of the plant and
some of its workers.
+ Changing Times:The
Industrial Workers of the
World attracted working-
class men and women
frustrated with low wages
and long hours. It also
attracted writers, artists,
and intellectuals who
were sympathetic to
across the world.
+Changing Times: Gastonia, North Carolina,
April 5, 1929.
This photo shows a group of
female textile strikers attempting
to disarm a National Guard
trooper, who had been ordered to
the Loray Mills in an effort to stop
the serious rioting that took place
following the strike.
As evidenced in this photograph,
labor struggles often turned
violent, with strikebreakers (both
military and civilian) brought in to
end labor protests and return
disgruntled workers to their jobs.
“Technology played a vital,
although often invisible, role
in all these events, because
it linked places and spaces,
contributing to the shaping
of culture as a national
phenomenon rather than a
series of local manifestations
. . .The most powerful
[was] the automobile (NAAL
Ford Adds to Your Pleasure.
Poster ca. 1920.
+ Automobiles put Americans on the road, dramatically reshaped
the structure of American industry and occupations, and altered
the national topography as well. Along with work in automobile
factories themselves, millions of other jobs— in steel mills, parts
factories, highway construction and maintenance, gas stations,
machine shops, roadside restaurants, motels—depended on the
The road itself became—and has remained—a key powerful
symbol of the United States and of modernity as well. Cities
grew, suburbs came into being, small towns died, new towns
arose according to the placement of highways, which rapidly
supplanted the railroad in shaping the patterns of twentieth-
century American urban expansion.The United States had
become a nation of migrants as much as or more than it was a
nation of immigrants” (NAAL 10).
+ The 1930s
Brokers line up to throw themselves out of the
window after the stock market crash of October
1929. Contemporary American cartoon.
One of the defining features
of the interwar period is the
stock market crash of 1929
and the resulting depression.
“The suicides of millionaire
bankers and stockbrokers”—
parodied in this cartoon—
“made the headlines, but
more compelling was the
enormous toll among
ordinary people who lost
homes, jobs, farms, and life
savings in the stock market
crash. Conservatives advised
waiting until things got
better; radicals espoused
immediate social revolution”