WOMENSTD 414 - Studies in Women and Literature
Section: 001 Conduct Unbecoming a Heroine
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:
This class meets the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

From the Victorian ideal of the “angel in the house” through the 1950’s standard of the “good girl” women have been shadowed by the implication that the least a woman can be is perfect. Although these standards have been mocked by feminists movements that argued from the 1960’s on that one can only move upward from the pedestal, fictional heroines who dare to challenge the conventional expectations for women risk offending readers and, sometimes it appears, even their authors. The shelf life of the model of a self-sacrificing, nurturing, loving, woman whose power is achieved through influencing others rather than being directly grabbed seems unlimited. The aggressive, daring heroine who breaks codes frequently registers as an anti-heroine. We will focus on conflicted attitudes towards heroines and what constitutes heroic action for a woman from three different perspectives: the readers’ response; the rewards and punishments the author metes out for unconventional behavior; and the view of the heroine’s life within the culture of the text. Edith Wharton’ The Custom of the Country, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Adele Wiseman’s Crackpot, Toni Morrison’s Sula, Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior, and some contemporary fiction written by women yet to be selected will make up our reading list. Requirements: a 10-12 page bibliography on a subject related to one of our texts and a 6- 8 page essay developed from that bibliography; a final exam, regular attendance, and active participation in class discussion.

WOMENSTD 414 - Studies in Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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