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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



11. Modernist Portraits

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Context Activities

Core Contexts
The War to End All Wars: The Impact of World War I
Considered by contemporary observers to be "the war to end all wars," World War I radically shifted the way people thought about the world and the relationships between different nations. Beginning as a localized conflict between Austria and Serbia, the war escalated through a series of complex treaties and agreements... Go

Modernity and Technology: The Age of Machines
Americans' fascination with and dependence upon a variety of machines was well established by the closing years of the nineteenth century; in the early years of the twentieth century, this fascination only deepened as technological innovation became more and more widespread. Most major cities relied on some ... Go

Cultural Change, Cultural Exchange: The Jazz Age, the Depression, and Transatlantic Modernism
Popular history depicts the inter-war period as a time of raucous frivolity, speakeasies, flappers, and stock market millions. Indeed, unemployment during the 1920s in America was relatively low; some made sizable fortunes by speculating on Wall Street; and women wore shorter dresses and enjoyed a certain... Go


Extended Contexts
"An Explosion in a Shingle Factory": The Armory Show and the Advent of Modern Art
In 1913 the International Exhibition of Modern Art opened at the Sixty-Ninth Regiment Armory in New York City. Art historian Milton Brown calls it "the most important single exhibition ever held in America." Prior to what became known as the Armory Show, contemporary art and artists had received little attention from... Go

Experimentation and Modernity: Paris, 1900-1930
Paris became the unofficial center of literary and artistic culture not long after the turn of the century. Following World War I, a number of American authors and painters moved to Paris; some had served in the army and remained in Europe after the Armistice, while others were lured from America by the vibrant ... Go



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