WGS 345 • Major Authors: Virginia Woolf
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course will examine the critical and fictional works of Virginia Woolf. We will also be examining Woolf's continuing legacy and influence. Some of the areas of inquiry the class will be exploring are the value and limitations of high modernism, English literary heritage and tradition, feminism, creative and critical definitions of gender and sexuality, intellectual activism (Woolf's critiques of patriarchy, war, fascism), Woolf and imperialism-colonialism.
One 2-3 page review Woolf essay of your choice: 10% of final grade. Ungraded 1 page paper abstract. One (10-12 page paper): 30% of final grade. Comprehensive final examination: 30%of final grade. Active, substantial and significant participation 30%. Come to class prepared, which means keep up with the reading assignments; demonstrate that you have completed the required reading and have thought about it--analyzed it rigorously, critically, creatively. Active and significant participation comprises a substantial portion of your final grade (30 %), therefore silence will not serve you well in this class. Since I cannot tell you what these texts mean, your success depends--to a great extent--on your willingness to engage with the texts and with your fellow classmates. No one has the final, correct, absolute interpretation of these books. I invite you to take risks, to challenge yourself, and to share your understanding of each novel or film. I also reserve the right to give spontaneous, in-class quizzes if silence appears to be a lack of preparedness. Attendance Policy: Three absences will drop you a full letter grade (an A will become a B, etc.); four or more absences will guarantee your failure of this class.
Selected essays, including "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" and "Freudian Fiction," "The Leaning Tower," "This is the House of Commons." The Voyage Out. Mrs. Dalloway. To the Lighthouse. The Waves. Orlando. Between the Acts. A Room of One's Own (criticism). Three Guineas (criticism). Selected critical essays on Virginia Woolf, Modernism: Selections from Pamela Caughie, Ed. Virginia Woolf in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction; Alex Zwerdling. Virginia Woolf and the Real World; Ann Ardis, Modernism and Cultural Conflict; Kathy J. Phillips, Virginia Woolf Against Empire, Melba Cuddy-Keane, Virginia Woolf and the Public Sphere. The selected essays will represent a range of critical approaches to Woolf and her corpus, including feminist, formalist, Marxist-materialist, gender and queer studies, and post-structuralist approaches. Films: Sally Potter. Orlando; Stephen Daldry's adaptation of Michael Cunningham's The Hours.