185A - Women's Writing I
Extended Course Description
In this course we will begin with Jane Austen and then study the British women writers who were her precursors, including Aphra Behn, Mary Astell, Mary Wortley Montagu, and Mary Wollstonecraft. We will consider a number of genres--the novel, drama, poetry, and non-fiction prose (e.g. letters, travel writing, polemic)--and we will address issues arising at a time of huge increases in women’s participation in the literary marketplace. How did women contribute to the “rise of the novel”? How can we compare men’s and women’s literary production in this period? Can we talk about a women’s aesthetic? Which writers were early feminists, which ones were not, and what forms did their political views take? What, in general, was the social, cultural, economic, and historical impact of their work?
GradingGrades will be based on quizzes and in-class assignments (15%), a prospectus and term paper (30%), a midterm (20%), a final (20%), and attendance/participation (15%).
TextsPersuasion, Jane Austen
The Lucky Chance, Aphra Behn
A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, Mary Astell
Turkish Letters, Mary Wortley Montagu
Millenium Hall, Sarah Scott
Eighteenth-Century Women Poets, Roger Lonsdale, ed.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman , Mary Wollstonecraft
Lady Susan, Jane Austen