English 185B - Spring, 2021

Women's Writing II

Class Information

Instructor: Roy, Parama
CRN: 42114
Time: TR 4:40-6:00
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Nineteenth-century Britain and its empire saw an efflorescence of women?s writing across a range of genres?fiction, poetry, and every form of discursive prose. In this course we will focus for the most part on some of the major female novelists of the century--Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. But we will also read the autobiography of Mary Seacole, the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the prose of Mary Martha Sherwood, Sara Stickney Ellis, Elizabeth Lynn Linton, and Frances Power Cobbe, and the short utopian fiction of Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain. This course will explore the varied and complex ways in which nineteenth-century women writers attempted to create, maintain, and contest the concept of femininity (and of feminism). It will do this by thinking of these authors and texts in relation to the following issues: gender and genre; education and bildung/formation; work, vocation, entrepreneurship, money, and inheritance; courtship, marriage, bigamy, and divorce; domestic saints, fallen women, female criminals, female monsters, and madwomen; empire and missionary activity; and female authorship and gendered reading publics.
Instruction in this class will take asynchronous as well as synchronous form. I will post lecture videos and PowerPoint slides to Canvas every week. But we will also meet via Zoom in smaller groups of 25-26 once a week during assigned class hours; these synchronous sessions will be devoted to discussion and, occasionally, group work.


Assignments: weekly posts to canvas discussion forums; a short paper (4-5 pages); a longer paper (6-7 pages); and a take-home final.


Pride and Prejudice, ed. Donald Gray and Mary A. Favret, Jane Austen
Jane Eyre, ed. Deborah A. Lutz, Charlotte Bront
Lady Audley?s Secret, ed. Natalie M. Houston, Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Sultana?s Dream: And Selections from the Secluded Ones, ed. Roushan Jahan, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Lands, ed. Sara Salih, Mary Seacole