WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 002 Being a Heroine
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:

This course satsifies the New Traditions requirement.

Other Course Info:
(Gender in the Discipline).
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Despite the fact that a woman sat on the throne of England for most of the 19th century, Victorians were generally unable or unwilling to change their views about what women couldn’t do and shouldn’t do. The great novelists of the day, however, had no difficulty imagining strong, ambitious, brilliant, adventurous women and making them the heroines of their texts. Women’s lack of power in 19th century life is well-known and well-documented. We will note it too, but our focus will be on the qualities with which writers from Jane Austen to George Gissing endowed their heroines. These heroines railed against the narrowness of their lives, sought choice in the midst of choicelessness, questioned what was deemed “unwomanly,” and attempted to subvert the rules. We will begin before Queen Victoria, read Jane Austen’s Emma, and then move to the great Victorian heroines, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Dorothea Brooke, from Eliot’s Middlemarch, Isabel Archer, from Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, from Hardy’s great novel of that name, and the lesser known Rhoda Nunn, the first activist feminist from Gissing’s The Odd Women. We will also read about the culture that set restrictions on women and the lives of the authors who managed to break through. Requirements: a take-home mid-term and final; a 10-12 page annotated bibliography; regular attendance, class participation, and bi-weekly questions on the readings. The syllabus and other instructions pertaining to the course will appear on my web-site as they are completed. http://www.silicongroove.net/merlawolk/.

WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
002 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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