E 314L • Reading Women Writers
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course has two interrelated goals: to introduce you to the tradition of British women writes from the Restoration to the present and to question the nature of that tradition. We will be reading and writing about novels written by women who disguised their identity as writers as well as by those who gloried in it, by women who believed they were modeling themselves on their literary fathers and by those who claimed to be defying the authority of the male tradition. As we trace this narrative of imitation and defiance, we will draw some tentative conclusions about what the "tradition" (or the "canon") is and how it is constituted and contested.
Because this course is an introduction to literary study, students will be asked to write frequently in order to sharpen their skills as readers and critics. Our emphasis will be on acquiring the critical skills and vocabulary that enable us to comment on the ways language works in literature. Students can expect to finish the course with improved writing and critical reading skills, with the ability to identify and analyze figurative and rhetorical language, with working definitions of the conventions by which different literary genres are defined, and with some knowledge of the broad history of British literature. In addition, they will begin to acquire the skills of cultural analysis that allow us to understand the ways in which form shapes ideology, and the ways in which gender has played a roll in determining the development of English literary genres.
Six 1-page response papers: 30%
Two 4-page papers: 40%
Six quizzes: 20%
Virginia Woolf: A Room of One's Own
Aphra Behn: Oronooko
Elizabeth Nunez: Prospero's Daughter
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea
Jeanette Winterson: Sexing the Cherry (with excerpts from Swift's Gulliver's Travels)
Packet containing critical essays on imperialism, gender and race.