FWIS 192: The Roaring Twenties
An interview with Laura Richardson, Instructor
What do you think is interesting/distinctive about this FWIS course?
This is a class about a nine-year historical period. That’s unique! In FWIS 192, we will not only read canonical modernist literature from authors like Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway, but we will also get to zoom in on a sliver of time, the aesthetics of which are still setting standards for contemporary literature and culture.
How did you get interested in this particular topic?
My dissertation was on modernism—it’s the best period of American and British literature. I also think that there’s been a resurgence in interest in the first half of the twentieth century (the 20s, in particular), evinced by Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Baz Luhrmann’s remake of The Great Gatsby. And let’s face it, jazz never goes out of style.
What, specifically, are you excited about teaching in your FWIS this semester?
This semester, we’ll be spending an entire week on popular 1920s dances, including the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. A visiting dance instructor will lead three class sessions, and we’ll learn both the moves and how to interpret them within the 20s aesthetic. Jazz hands, anyone?