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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2005


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44460 T
11:00 AM-2:00 PM

Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint students with a variety of novels and stories by major writers in 19th-century Brazil and, in particular, with their constructions of womanhood (esp. motherhood), domestic life, as well as the several meanings attached in such literature to non-white, working women-including slaves. This course also focuses on several women's literary and journalistic writings from the same period-ones which for a long time were excluded from literary history, yet recently recovered and re-edited by feminist scholars. Our purpose here is thus to approach the depiction (and idealization) of female characters in mainstream fictional writings and compare it with women writers' own textual representations of womanhood and gender roles. Some topics of discussion include: female vs. male abolitionist novels; the emergence of feminine/feminist magazines and newspapers in major Brazilian cities in mid (to late)-19th century; the portrait of women intellectuals in female 19th-century bildungsroman; and women's roles and allegories of female body in nationalist 19th-century literary discourse.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on: active class participation, including exercises such as leading class discussion (30%); one oral report of the final paper proposal (20%); and a final research paper (50%).


Nisia Floresta Brasileira Augusta. Itinerário de uma viagem à Alemanha (1857); “Woman” (essay published in1865). Maria Firmina dos Reis. Úrsula (1859); “A escrava” (story published in 1887). Bernardo Guimarães. A escrava Isaura (1875); Joaquim Manoel de Macedo. “Mucama” (IN: Vítimas-algozes, quadros da escravidão, 1869). José de Alencar. Iracema (1876). Machado de Assis. Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas (1880). Maria Benedita Bormann (Délia). Lesbia (1884). Carmen Dolores. Gradações/Página soltas (1897). Inez Sabino. Lutas do coração (1898); (excerpts from the Mulheres ilustres do Brasil anthology, 1898). Júlia Lopes de Almeida. A viúva Simões (1897); (chronicles from Livro das dona e donzelas, 1906). Selection of 19th century newspaper articles (from Jornal do Commercio, A mensageira), as well as excerpts from manuals and other pedagogical materials on marriage, motherhood, and women's domestic obligations.


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