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

Susan S Heinzelman

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1977, University of Western Ontario

Associate Professor, Director of the Center for Women's & Gender Studies
Susan S Heinzelman



Susan Heinzelman is an Associate Professor in the English Department. She has published extensively on law and literature and gender, most recently with Stanford University Press: Riding the Black Ram: Law, Literature, and Gender  (2010).



Eighteenth century women's novels; feminism, law, and literature.

E 316K • Masterworks Of Lit: British

34954 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 1.102
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Instructor:  Heinzelman, S            Areas:  -- / B

Unique #:  34594            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A; and a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) test.

Description: It is clearly impossible to study, in one five-week course, the literature of a nation produced over approximately twelve hundred years. Even if we were to have the luxury of the reading time afforded by a long semester, we would still only scratch the surface of Britain’s literary culture. Moreover, we only be addressing the “literary” culture—and thus ignore the many other forms that culture takes---economic, social, political. Furthermore, when we speak of “British” culture, we are invoking not one but many varieties of national identity – from the Celts and the Gaels to the English (Saxon and Norman)—and the transformations that those groups have undergone over time.

Rather than attempt to locate major literary movements and their authors over the centuries, I have chosen to focus on five authors and to use their work to illuminate the historical and cultural complexities to which they responded. Those five authors are: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Bronte, and Yeats.

Requirements & Grading: Attendance is required; you may miss three classes without an excuse. After your third absence you must provide a written excuse. If you fail to do so, I will lower your grade by 10% for each class missed. Please see me at the beginning of the semester if you have some special circumstances that will prevent you from being in compliance with this policy.

I prefer to hold discussion classes rather than lectures; to this end, please come to class with the reading for the day prepared. It should not fall to the same few students each day to sustain discussion. If we cannot hold productive discussions because too few students are prepared, I will resort to pop quizzes. I will be handing out extra readings during the semester; any handouts will be left outside my office door after the class. Do not call or email me asking where you can pick up handouts.

Final Examination: 35%; Quizzes (5-Objective questions and interpretative commentary): 50%; Midterm essay, 3-4 pages: 15%.

E 370W • Gender/Torture/State In Crisis

35615 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 105
(also listed as WGS 345 )
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Instructor:  Heinzelman, S            Areas:  V / G

Unique #:  35615            Flags:  n/a

Semester:  Fall 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  WGS 345            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


“Torture has been widely viewed in the past in terms of pain and suffering inflicted on a person – usually assumed to be male – in the custody of the state. However, this narrow understanding excludes many forms of severe pain and suffering deliberately inflicted on women and girls. . . and denies [them] protection from the many egregious forms of severe pain and suffering deliberately inflicted . . . in an assertion of power and control by the state or with its acquiescence.”

-- Amnesty International October 2011, Gender and Torture Conference report

This course examines the various ways in which torture has been defined in the late 20th and 21st centuries with a special focus on issues related to violence against women. The course will assess national and international responses to those acts conventionally regarded as torture, as well as to the many ways in which forms of violence against women—such as rape, domestic violence, and the denial of reproductive rights—take on the characteristics of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. We will ask what happens to state accountability and the state’s responsibility both to prevent harm and to provide remedies to victims when the definition of torture is expanded to include forms of harm that are disproportionally endured by women.

We will examine legal documents, national and international reports, philosophical essays, drama, film, and fiction to reach tentative conclusions about the crisis of state power in relation to the widespread use of torture against women.

Texts: Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, Octavia Butler, the “torture memos” (Bush Administration); The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo (A film by Lisa F. Jackson).

Requirements & Grading: In-class (group) presentation: 30%; Brief response papers: 40%; Final research paper: 30%.

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