E 370W • Women and Literature, 17th and 19th Centuries
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
In this course, we will think about how women's writing between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries developed in relation to the British literary "canon". We will look at how some early modern women writers found their voices by opposing male authorship and subverting conventions of female modesty. We will discuss notions of a "female voice" or of a "gendered text", looking for instance at how, on the other hand, Daniel Defoe's mock female autobiography of Moll Flanders appropriates a female narrative perspective. This course will require students to develop close reading skills and introduce them to a variety of critical methodologies to analyze texts belonging to various genres (poetry, essay, fiction). We will also explore cultural influences and their impact upon these writers and their works.
One essay during term 30%
Regular homework exercises, quizzes and class participation 50%
One final in-class exam 30%
Attendance is mandatory. No incompletes.
Rachel Speght, Aemilia Lanyer, Lady Mary Wroth: a selection of poems and prose
Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World, and a selection of poems
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko
Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders
Mary Wollstonecraft, selections from Vindications of the Rights of Woman
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park