What did women write before 1600? How did women comment on feminine sexuality, motherhood, love, religion, work, or money? The answers to these questions are as provocative and various as the women themselves. In order to explore the writings of a wide range of women, we will examine a number of English texts written between the late fourteenth and early seventeenth centuries. We will, for example, consider Margery Kempe’s autobiographical Book, the Revelations of Julian of Norwich, some of the Paston family letters, selections from the writings of Queen Elizabeth I (and some of the portraits commissioned by and for her), and Aemilia Lanyer’s poetry.
Course requirements include active participation in class discussion and online forums, several short informal response papers, a collaborative research project, peer critiques of drafts, and a long-ish essay (about 15 pp) incorporating research.