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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2006

E 387R • Women, Gender and Writing

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33960 MW
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
JES A305A
Mullin

Course Description

This seminar seeks to ask the question: What is the role of gender in the production of texts? In order to examine this question and potential answers, students will be looking at critical and theoretical research that approaches the issue from several disciplinary perspectives: rhetoric, linguistics and communication. Exploration of the issue includes looking at the historical exclusion of women in rhetoric, the early feminist use of the term "writing" and its connection to identity, and the construction of a cultural, gendered identity through language structure. Students will become aware of the current divergences within the research available in this area of gender and writing: the ways in which the idea of gender is thought to constructs the texts we write, and how gender may also construct the research about it that we read.

The assigned readings will include histories of women in rhetoric, linguistics and discourse analyses, case studies, and theoretical articles that will help frame analyses that students will be asked to carry out. While not a methods courses, students will be studying the various ways in which research is conducted when gender is central to the question at hand. In this way students will focus on the questions asked about language and gender: how they are framed and studied as a result of the constructions imposed. They will look at this question from a national perspective and also be exposed to international perspectives on women, language and writing.

Students will study and write about the construction of gender in a number of texts, enacting the theoretical positions by applying them. Students will be asked to maintain a reflective journal, a work that will be central to their final projects: an examination of their own writing and their writing in this course culminating in positioning themselves theoretically.

Students in rhetoric and composition, literary studies, in speech communication, classics, women's studies or any major would benefit not only from the understanding of the role of gender in writing, specifically as it relates to women, but also as a way to analyze ones own role in constructing meaning.

Texts

Potential Resources and Texts:

Cheryl Glenn: Rhetoric Retold : Regendering the Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance.

Holmes and Meyerhoff: The Handbook of Language and Gender

Susan Romaine: Communicating Gender

Jane Sunderland: Gendered Discourse

Abigail Bray: Helene Cixous: Writing and Sexual Difference

Packet of readings include Reclaiming Rhetorica : Women in the Rhetorical Tradition /edited by Andrea Lunsford; Feminism and Composition Studies: In Other Words/ edited by Susan Jarratt; Feminist Cyberscapes : Mapping Gendered Academic Spaces / edited by Kristine Blair and Pamela Takayoshi.; Early Modern Women's Letter Writing, 1450-1700 / edited by James Daybell.; What Our Speech Disrupts : Feminism and Creative Writing Studies. / Haake, Katharine; A Group of Their Own : College Writing Courses and American Women Writers, 1880-1940. / Adams, Katherine H ; Crossing International Divides: Language and Communication Within International Settings. By: Dominelli, Lena.

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