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

Fall 2004

E 314L • Reading Women Writers

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
31990 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
CBA 4.344

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the methods, issues, and debates they are likely to encounter as English majors. We will concentrate our efforts on several major works written by nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American authors, and our examination of these texts will be informed by a range of scholarly and critical approaches to reading literature.

We will investigate how literary works can be read critically and closely, but we will also look beyond the texts themselves to examine the sometimes-vexed intersections and exchanges between male and female literary traditions. We will examine the ways that women have been involved in and/or excluded from popular and academic conceptions of canon and genre. We will be especially interested in the ways that women’s social position (with reference to class, gender, and race) influences the production, consumption, and evaluation of literature. As we endeavor to form connections between earlier examples of women’s literary culture and contemporary literary topics and controversies, we will examine the ways that the popular, the political, the professional, and the personal get written into women’s literature across time.

Because this is a substantial writing component course, in addition to short response papers, students will be expected to produce two short and two long essays that research and explore issues arising out of our discussions, critical readings, and primary texts. Students will also give a short presentation situating one of the primary works within a critical, historical, or theoretical framework.

Grading Policy

Two 2-3-page response papers 15%
One 5-7-page midterm paper 30%
One 7-10-page final paper 35%
Short (10-minute) oral presentation 10%
Reading quizzes, daily responses, and active participation 10%


Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Emily Dickinson, selected poems
Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper
Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs
Kate Chopin, The Awakening
Toni Morrison, Beloved


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