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

Fall 2009

E 314L • Women's Popular Genres

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

This course explores a number of works that influenced the development of what we now think of as the romance genre. We will begin in the early eighteenth century with a piece of amatory fiction written by a prolific and market-savvy professional woman writer and will conclude with two late-twentieth-century works that appropriate and comment on the tropes of the modern category of romance. We will explore continuities and disjunctions in the evolving tradition of the romance, and will read our selected texts through formal, cultural, and historical lenses. We will also discuss genre, the concept of popularity, and canon formation, and will consider what, specifically, identifies particular generic features with women readers and writers.

This course is designed to help you sharpen the critical reading skills you will need as a student of English literature. You will learn about methods of close reading and of research, and will read and engage with criticism by other academics, though your focus will be on the primary texts listed below. To bolster your critical writing skills, you will produce several short papers and one longer paper, and will have opportunities to revise your work.

Grading Policy

Three short essays, 2-4 pages, on works from the reading list; the third essay may be a substantially original revision of one of the prior short essays (15% each). Final essay, 5-6 pages, on one or two works from the reading list. Students can propose arguments that also refer to works outside the reading list (30%). Students will be expected to participate in class, not only by having completed the reading, but by being prepared to join and/or informally lead class discussions (10%). We will also practice peer review and develop an online classroom space where students can collaborate on close readings of selections from the course texts. Additional short written assignments, online responses, quizzes: 15%


Eliza Haywood, Fantomina; Fanny Burney, Evelina; Jane Austen, Emma; Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy; Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle; Joyce Carol Oates, "Love, Forever"; Secondary reading packet: essays by Janice Radway, Lynda Boose, others


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