Oct 31, 2020  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
    
Catalogue 2020-2021
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WMST 218 - Literature, Gender, and Sexuality


1 unit(s)


(Same as ENGL 218 ) Topic for 2019/20b: Madwomen in the Attic. In 1979, feminist critics Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar articulated a crucial point that was, at the time, shifting the terrain of literary studies: “The poet’s pen,” they remark, “is in some sense (even more than figuratively) a penis.” Male gender, in other words, had somehow become a necessary requirement for creative genius. No robust critical architecture existed by which to understand and appreciate work written by female authors, especially those of the Victorian period, for the predominant hermeneutics of analysis had not only been produced by male writers but remained about them as well. Since the publication of Madwoman in the Attic and other feminist critiques of the 1970s and 1980s, scholars have expanded the horizons of literary studies to address the many ways that women’s voices make meaning, both inside and outside the textual body. What work remains left to do? What value is there, in other words, in examining an exclusive heritage, or sisterhood, of women’s literature? In this course, we will engage writing by British female-identified authors to explore the obstacles and successes involved when women pick up the pen. Authors studied in this course may include Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Dorothy Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Michael Field (aunt-niece pair Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper), Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Zadie Smith.

 

Two 75-minute periods.

Not offered in 2020/21.



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