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The full title of the course was: "20th-Century American Poets: The Art Object from Modernism to Postmodernism".

What counts as a work of art – and specifically, as a poem – in Modernism? Does a poem do more or less than capture a view of the world or a piece of the reality? This course considers these questions in relation to a few of the major American poets (Stein, Williams, Stevens, Bishop, Hughes, Olson, Plath, Ashbery) of the twentieth-century. In addition to reading literary criticism and theoretical writing on aesthetics, we will pay close attention to the poetics, or theories of poetry and reading, that played a substantial role in shaping theories of the art object in 20th-century literature. We will also examine these poets in relation to the artists (Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio de Chirico, Robert Rauschenberg, etc.) that they befriended and/or wrote about in their work.