E 392M • TRANSATLANTIC FEMINISMS IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTION
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Recent scholarship on race and slavery has suggested that, rather than examining distinct national traditions in the literature of African and African-descended writers in the colonial period, we should consider such writing part of a diasporic Black Atlantic that supersedes national boundaries. The debate over the status, education and rights of women in the period from the Bloodless Revolution of 1689 to the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was also inflected by transatlantic conversations about citizenship and revolution. 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 womens 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 planters 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.
TEXTS (available at the University Co-op) Required: Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies Maria Edgeworth, Belinda Sharon Harris, ed., Selected Writings of Judith Sargent Murray,. Sarah Scott, A Description of Millenium Hall Mary Wollstonecraft, The Vindications Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria Mary Robinson, A Letter to the Women of England Recommended: Lisa Moore, Dangerous Intimacies: Toward a Sapphic History of the British Novel Sharon Harris, ed., American Women Writers to 1800 (Oxford, 0-19-508453) Xeroxed reader (noted on syllabus as XR) will be available at Paradigm Copies on 24th St.