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ENGL 221 - Introduction to Women's Literature
Course Details

Course Code: 
ENGL 221

Credits:  3

Calendar Description:
This course will introduce students to writing by women from its early beginnings in the Middle Ages to the present time. Students will concentrate on close readings of representative works, which register the achievements of women writing for literary fame, artistic expression, religious utterance, economic subsistence, and political resistance. The course engages with various genres and theoretical approaches.

Date First Offered:  2004-10-03

Hours:
  • Total Hours: 15
  • Lecture Hours: 3
Total Weeks:  3

This course is offered online:  Yes
Depending on semester schedules, this course may be available online. Please consult the Academic Timetables.

Pre-Requisites:
  • Any two of ENGL 100, 105, 111, or 112
Rearticulation Submission:  Yes

Course Content:

Block One: Old and Middle English Women's Writing, 449-1485
  • 1.1 Historical Appendices: pgs 1319-1324
  • 1.2 Medieval Letters and Practical Domestic Documents: pgs 1328-1330
  • 1.2.1 Text: Leoba of England and Germany, Letters: pgs 76-78
  • 1.2.2 Text: Margery Brews Paston, Letters: pgs 425-427
  • 1.3 Men's and Women's Religious Prose of the Late Middle Ages: pgs 1330-1332
  • 1.3.1 Text: Julian of Norwich, from Showings, The Fifty-Eighth Chapter: pgs 654-656
  • 1. 3.2 Text: Margery Kempe, from The Book of Margery Kempe, Chapter 35: pgs 419-420; 423-425
Block Two: Renaissance and Early Seventeenth-Century Literature, 1485-1660
  • 2.1 Historical Appendices: pgs 1334-1337
  • 2.2. Gender and Lyric Poetry: pgs 1337-1339
  • 2.2.1 Text: Mary Wroth, From Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, Sonnets 1, 9, 25: pgs 429-431
  • 2.2.2 Text: Anne Bradstreet, The Author to Her Book: pgs 668-670
  • 2.2.3 Text: Margaret Cavendish, The Poetess's Hasty Resolution; The Poetess's Petition: pgs 89-91
  • 2.3 Gender and the Querelles Des Femmes: pgs 1347-1351
  • 2.3.1 Text: Rachel Speght, From A Muzzle for Melastomus: pgs 1116-1124
Block Three: Late Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Literature, 1660-1800
  • 3.1 Historical Appendices: pgs 1352-1358
  • 3.2 The Professionalization of Writing: 1361-1363
  • 3.2.1 Text: Aphra Behn, The Lucky Chance, or an Alderman's Bargain: pgs 433-492 Note: Anne Perry's essay on Behn's comedies, pgs 1300-1309
  • 3.2.2 Delarivier Manley, from The New Atlantis: pgs 494-498
  • 3.2.3 Eliza Haywood, from The Female Spectator: pgs 498-505
  • 3.3 Sexuality, Virginity, and Marriage: pgs 1365-1368
  • 3.3.1 Text: Katherine Philips, To the excellent Mrs. A. O; Friendship's Mysteries: pgs 939-942
  • 3.3.2 Text: Lady Mary Wortley Montague, To Lady Bute: pgs 672-675
  • 3.3.3 Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: pgs 1131-1136 are required reading, but students are encouraged to read the entire document
Block Four: Nineteenth-Century Literature, 1800-1900
  • 4.1 Historical Appendices: pgs 1369-1371
  • 4.2 Romanticism: pgs 1371-1376
  • 4.2.1 Text: Mary Shelley, Introduction to Frankenstein: pgs 232-236
  • 4.2.2 Text: Felicia Hemans, The Hebrew Mother: pgs 687- 690
  • 4.3 The Novel: pgs 1376-1381
  • 4.3.1 Text: Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey: pgs 112-683
Block Five: Modernist and Contemporary Literature, 1900-present
  • 5.1 Historical Appendices: pgs 1385-1386; 1401-417
  • 5.2 Innovative Uses of Language: pgs 1386-1389
  • 5.2.1 Text: Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own: pgs 16-43
  • 5.3 Gender and Expatriatism: pgs 1396-1398
  • 5.3.1 Text: Buchi Emecheta, A Cold Welcome: pgs 1038-1043
  • 5.4 Literary Internationalization: Border Crossings: pgs 1415-1417
  • 5.4.1 Text: Trinh T. Minh-ha, Not/ Like You: Postcolonial Women and the Interlocking Questions of Identity and Difference: pgs 929-933
  • 5.4.2 Text: Slavenka Drakuli
Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will sample a variety of literary genres that have been especially important to writing women: polemical writings, spiritual autobiographies, conduct manuals, periodicals, poetry, and the novel.
  • By reading and writing about these literatures, students will consider what it meant for women to read, write, and publish at specific moments in history, despite their generally inferior status and exclusion from formal education.
  • Gendered positions and constructs will be examined in tandem with ideologies of race, class, and sexuality. Themes examined may include the body, violence, religion, family, government, environment, sexual orientation, and colonization.
  • Discussion will intersect with feminist theories and anti-racist and queer studies.
  • The goal of this course is twofold:
    • First to help students attain the necessary skills to read and to write about women's literature in an academic manner.
    • Second to pique interest about women's literary history and the politics of gender. readings are progressive, that is they build on one another in theme, style and context, and they are also fairly intensive. This course welcomes both male and female students.
Grading System:  Letters

Grading Weight:
  • Final Exam: 30 %
  • Participation: 10 %
  • Other: 60 %
Writing Assignments:
  • Term Paper: 20%
  • Response Papers: 40%
Course Offered in Other Programs:  No

Other Programs:
  • Academic
  • Associate of Arts Degree
  • Associate of Arts Diploma
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