WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 102
Term: SP 2008
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Other Course Info:
(Gender in the Discipline).
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

It has often been argued that women writers of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century in Britain took the lead in developing ideas of modernity, especially modern concepts of the subject. The aim of this course is to explore this claim through the poetry, fiction and prose writing of women from the period of the French Revolution through to the early 1870s. We will consider articulations of modernity across and within literary genres as they address the changing definitions of gender and sexuality; of sensibility and sentiment; of social hierarchy and race; of marriage, family and nation; and, finally, of consumption and production. The course will show how these issues are related to wider aesthetic shifts, and it will suggest that debates about subjectivity in women’s writing offered not only progressive but also conservative versions of modernity.

There will be lectures to introduce each theme, but classes will mainly focus on student participation via oral presentations, group work, and creative exercises — all of which will enable you to set the agenda for discussion and identify key questions and/or problems for analysis and debate. Requirements will include reading responses, a class quiz, and two short papers; and, of course, class attendance is important and will form part of the final grade.

A detailed reading list will be available at the end of the Winter Academic Term but major texts will probably include the following:

  • Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
  • Harriet Martineau, Selections from her Writing on Slavery (1830s)
  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847) or Villette (1853)
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856)
  • George Eliot, Adam Bede (1859)

WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 12:00PM
102 (REC)
MW 2:00PM - 4:00PM
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