Find a Lecture
This lecture meets the following New York State Learning Standards:
Language Arts 1.1
The Language of Crisis: Documenting the Depression
A lecture by Michael Jacobs
The 1930s saw an explosion of documentary works in virtually every form of artistic creation, as the era's aesthetes felt compelled to observe, probe, capture, and represent the reality and truth of the Great Depression. For many writers, this meant rebelling against the status quo by blurring the boundaries between literary form and nonfiction content - in other words, by bringing together art and fact. What are the advantages of combining poetry, stream of consciousness, dialogue, character invention, and interior monologue with investigative journalism? How can a novel more authentically represent an era than a decade's worth of newspapers? This audiovisual lecture answers these and other questions by focusing on three major works of the period: James Agee's and Walker Evans' "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," Muriel Rukeyser's "Book of the Dead," and John Dos Passos' "USA" trilogy. Each text embodies the notion that in times of social crisis, standard literary forms fail to adequately represent truth.
This lecture is available from January 1, 2010 to October 31, 2013
Can be tailored to a high school audience
- Microphone optional
- PowerPoint Projection and Screen Optional
Professor Michael Jacobs
Associate Chairperson, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Berkeley College
Michael Jacobs has taught literature and writing at Berkeley College since 2002. Additionally, he has presented papers and lectures on literature, pedagogy, and film all over the country. He holds a Doctor of Arts degree in English from St. John's University and two degrees from the University at Buffalo - a master’s in Humanities and a bachelor’s in Media Studies. Prior to his career as a college professor, Michael worked as a journalist in Buffalo, NY.
White Plains, NY 10603
|Email this speaker:|
This contact information is not to be used for commercial purposes.