Course Details
$315 3 seats left
Start Date:

Thu, Mar 05, 6:30pm - Apr 02, 9:30pm (4 sessions)

Class will not meet Thursday, March 19th.
Purchase Options
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 12

What you'll learn in this poetry class:

“April is the cruelest month,” writes T.S. Eliot in the opening lines of The Waste Land (1922), “breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire.” What does modern poetry remember, and what does modern poetry want? This course, an introduction to the exhilarating, maddening, and strange experiments of twentieth-century poetry, explores how poets responded to the astonishing social, political, aesthetic, and technological upheavals of a rapidly modernizing world. Poised at the cusp of memory and desire, poetry’s work in the modern world is a site of major contest, not least for poets themselves. In an age of mass movements, mass atrocities, the rise of mass media, and all their associated risks and potentials, what is poetry for, and what can it do?

With an emphasis on high modernism and its immediate successors, this course considers the uses of poetry: how it remembers and how it forgets, how it desires and how it rejects, how it protests and how it invents. Among other concerns, this class invokes questions of elegy, historical and political memory, gender, sexuality, technology, poetic tradition, and formal innovation. In addition to situating poetic practices within the accelerated social changes of modernity, we will also explore various methodologies for reading poetry and for understanding the implications of “poetry” as a category. How do you read a poem? And how do you read a modern poem? To what degree are different kinds of modern poetry continuous with different traditions and to what degree to they break with tradition? Do modern poets invent traditions in order to stage a conspicuous break with the past? Students will read the work of major modern poets in British and American contexts as well as critical supplements that theorize and historicize these texts. Authors on the syllabus include W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Langston Hughes, Mina Loy, Claude McKay, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Jean Toomer, and W.B. Yeats.

There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

Instructors will contact students approximately one week prior to the first class with reading assignments and details about the course location.

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Refund Policy
Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.


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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

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Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
6:30pm - 9:30pm Rebecca Ariel Porte 4 $315
This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions.
Thu, Mar 12 6:30pm - 9:30pm Rebecca Ariel Porte
Thu, Mar 26 6:30pm - 9:30pm Rebecca Ariel Porte
Thu, Apr 02 6:30pm - 9:30pm Rebecca Ariel Porte

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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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