Program in Comparative Literature

Heather Eure


Nineteenth-Century French and British Literature, Italian Language and Literature, Art History, Fashion Studies, Women's and Gender Studies 


Language Background: English (Native), French, Italian, German
Education: BA in French and Art History, Hollins University; MA in Comparative Literature, UT AustinTeaching Appointment: Assistant Instructor, Department of French and Italian Faculty Adviser: Alexandra Wettlaufer


C L 323 • Gender In The 19th Century

33737 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 308
(also listed as E 370W, EUS 347, F C 349, WGS 345)

Instructor:  Eure, H            Areas:  V / G

Unique #:  35437            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  C L 323; WGS 345            Computer Instruction:  n/a

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: In this course, we will examine how writers and readers conceived of gender in nineteenth-century France, Britain, and the US through the lenses of several novels and a play. From cross-dressers and castrati, to mothers and madwomen, the protagonists in these works challenge social norms of the 1800s and present gender as a category that could be performed. We will analyze, within these works of literature, the theme of “the fake” and its relationship to the representation and re-imagination of gender during the period. An immense tension between the ideas of natural gender and performed gender emerges in all of the texts we will read and begs the reader to consider how nineteenth-century audiences understood—and how we also today understand—femininity, masculinity, and the societal roles that accompany gender.

Students will be required to give one oral presentation during the semester linking a subject of historical, social, and cultural import during the period to one of our texts. They will then develop this presentation into a short paper. Students will contribute brief responses to a course blog throughout the semester and submit a final seminar paper.

Texts: Sarrasine, Honoré de Balzac; Mademoiselle de Maupin, Théophile Gautier; Gabriel, George Sand; Lady Audley’s Secret, Mary Elizabeth Braddon; The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde; The Awakening, Kate Chopin; The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton.

Requirements & Grading: Participation: 15%; Oral Presentation: 10%; Class Blog: 15%; Short Paper (5-7 pages): 15%; Paper Proposal (1 page): 5%; Paper Outline: 5%; Annotated Bibliography: 5%; Final Paper (10-12 pages): 30%.

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