In this course we will read literature and view films that register the global reverberations of shock and trauma. We will travel from the early twentieth-century to the present day, studying texts that variously engage World War I, World War II, the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, 9/11 and the War on Terror, and the legacies of colonialism and slavery. We will discuss historical memory and the intergenerational transmission of trauma; the role of modern technologies including poison gas and drone warfare; and, the blurring of lines between front-lines/home front, victim/perpetrator, civilian/combatant, local/global. Our focus will be on the formal and aesthetic techniques that an earlier generation of modernist writers developed to confront the staggering scale and abstractions of war, as well as the way that a new generation of modernists are continuing this project today. Primary texts and films will include Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, China Miéville’s Three Moments of an Explosion, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Ian McEwan’s Saturday, Teju Cole’s Open City, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.