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Modern American Poetry

Twelve experienced faculty members from across the United States present their analyses of ground-breaking modern American poets in richly illustrated video lectures. The course highlights both major poets—from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson through T.S. Eliot, H.D., Amy Lowell, Hart Crane, Langston Hughes, Muriel Rukeyser, and many others—and influential movements. The course mixes historical overview with close readings of individual poets and poems. Most courses give only one instructor’s point of view. This one matches the diversity of US poetry with lectures by a score of talented faculty. They bring their special perspective to the material while also presenting a coherent view of more than fifty years of US poetry. Throughout the course the lectures are illustrated with vivid images of the events, people, and places mentioned in the poems themselves. Readings by both the poets themselves and experienced faculty highlight the texts. On screen displays of text and quotations make it easy to follow the material. This is a course that takes advantage of the medium to bring you sights and sounds that would be difficult to incorporate in classroom lectures.

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Rating 3.5 based on 12 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort 4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week
Starts Aug 24 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera
Instructor Cary Nelson
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art

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What people are saying

1910s & 1920s

I especially appreciated the clarity of Karen Ford's many lectures and Tim Newcomb's lively and enthusiastic investigation of the role of little magazines in the 1910s & 1920s.

early 20th century

But some of the content was really interesting for me--I was glad to see Hart Crane and Muriel Rukeyser not being slighted as so often happens, and the section on American Indian poetry in the first part of the 19th and early 20th century was a real eye-opener and worth the effort of the entire course on its own.

improvised round-table discussions

The improvised round-table discussions of meta-poems by Dickinson, Stevens and Mullen (module 4, lesson 4) initially seemed too colloquial and not incisive, but then I realized they had value as models for how to grope into an initial understanding of a strange poem.

pretty good overview

A pretty good overview of modern poetry.

repeated 11 times

In lesson one, this was repeated 11 times.

satisfying balance between

As a whole, the course managed a satisfying balance between discussion of the poetry itself and discussion of the social and economic contexts in which the poetry was created and consumed.

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Rating 3.5 based on 12 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort 4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week
Starts Aug 24 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera
Instructor Cary Nelson
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art

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