WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 002 Being a Heroine
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:
This class satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators.
Other Course Info:
(Gender in the Discipline).
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

This course begins where my earlier course on fictional heroines of 19th-century literature left off, although taking the earlier course is not a requirement for taking this one. The lot of the great heroines in 19th century fiction can be summarized in the frequency of courtship and marriage plots. Many social and economic factors prompted so many great writers of that time to portray their culture through this focus. How better to depict the uneasy relationship between the sexes! And how better to indicate the limitations imposed by the culture on roughly half its population than to demonstrate through repetition the narrowness of women’s options. Even the most financially and psychologically independent of heroines, who insist they don’t have to marry, do. That in most instances, the authors portray these choices as disastrous provides both the drama of these novels and their critique of the culture. But everything changes in the 20th century and the first years of the 21st, right? Feminist movements bring women’s right to vote and opportunities for advanced education and with these changes, women begin, in Toni Morrison’s words, “to wrest choice from choicelessness.” Yet, curiously, despite expanded choices, the subject of courtship and marriage continues to structure 20th-century fictions that feature heroines. Using the heroine’s place in these plots as our a point of reference, we will read fiction by the following writers — Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison, Edith Konecky, Monica Ali, Michael Cunningham, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Milan Kundera — to explore what constitutes a heroine and heroic action in 20th century fiction.

Requirements: a 10-12 page annotated bibliography, 2 pg response papers on some texts, a final, regular attendance and active participation in class discussion.

WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
P
13357
Open
4
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (REC)
P
25059
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (REC)
P
25060
Open
3
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
004 (REC)
P
27203
Closed
0
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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