WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 102 Women, Writing & Modernity
Term: SP 2010
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
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Class Misc Info:
This class satisfies the New Traditions and Pre-1830 requirement for English concentrators. I>.
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 1860s. 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.

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.

Major texts to be studied may include the following:

  • Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
  • Laetitia Landon (L. E. L.), The Improvisatrice (1824)
  • Harriet Martineau, ‘Female Writers of Practical Divinity’ (1821) & Selections from her Writing on Slavery (1830s)
  • Charlotte Brontë, 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 10:00AM - 12:00PM
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