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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35560 MW
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
MEZ 1.104

Course Description

Between the English Revolution of 1689 and the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the transatlantic world was rocked by industrial and political change. The emergence of modern democratic capitalism and its concomitant values of equality, liberty, and justice took place against a backdrop of slavery, imperialist violence, and the raping of natural resources. Throughout this period, women seized opportunities to argue for an expansion of their roles and rights in the experimental post-revolutionary political systems that were being devised, but repeatedly, revolutionary promises failed to extend to women as citizens. This course examines feminist writing in a variety of genres produced in the English-speaking Atlantic world of the eighteenth century, including materials from Britain, British North America, and the British Caribbean. Our examination of these texts will allow us to ask such questions as: What were the major concerns of eighteenth-century writers critical of the condition of women in their time? How do such writers contribute to, and/or contest, emerging categories of nation and citizenship? What is the relationship between writing about women's rights and critiques of slavery? What difference does genre make to how women are represented and advocated for? How do letters, transcribed narratives, and popular periodical verse, as well as polished verse satire, novels, and philosophical tracts, broaden our definitions of the "literary"? And how do the various "Englishes" used in writing by slaves, free women of color, bluestockings, Loyalists and Patriots, and planter's wives challenge our definitions of eighteenth-century "English" literature? Is there a "feminist Atlantic" in eighteenth century literature?

This course will be of interest to English department students in the Women, Gender and Literature and Ethnic and Third World Literature concentrations, as well as to students concentrating in British or American literature. It will also be useful to students outside the English department as a historical background for modern feminist thought and an opportunity to learn about cultural studies methods from a literary perspective.


Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies

Sharon Harris, ed., Selected Writings of Judith Sargent Murray

Harris, ed., American Women Writers to 1800

Mary Wollstonecraft, The Vindications

-----, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman

Mary Hays, Memoirs of Emma Courtney

Mary Robinson, A Letter to the Women of England and The Natural Daughter

Unca Eliza Winkfield, The Female American

Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple

Roger Lonsdale, ed. Eighteenth-Century Women Poets

***for next time, don't forget

Anne McVicar Grant, Memoirs of an American Lady

Joseph Roach, cities of the Dead

Suvir Kaul, Poem of Nation, Anthems of Empire

Kathleen Wilson, This Island Race

Srinivas Aravamudan, Tropicopolitans

Xeroxed reader (noted on syllabus as XR) will be available at Paradigm Copies on 24th


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