Survey of Women Writers: Waves: Feminism, Fiction, Theory

Waves: Feminism, Fiction, Theory
English 3180
Trudy Lewis
Arts and Science 113
Course Description

We tend to think of creative writing and critical theory as being diametrically opposed: the personal and the political, the emotional and the analytical, the raw and the cooked.  But feminist theory is deeply intertwined with the work of creative writers, while creative writers often engage with feminist discourse in or outside their novels, stories, and poems. This semester, we will trace a historical progression of female- authored stories to see how they participate in theoretical speculations about gender inequality. To this end, we will read a number of classic and contemporary novels, two book-length essays, several short stories, and a number of critical/theoretical articles. Texts will include: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, The Female Man by Joanna Russ, Sula by Toni Morrison, Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Minaret by Leila Aboulela, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, and The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, In addition, students will give a group presentation based on a very contemporary novel (a list of suggestions will be provided). Students will be responsible for five one-page reader responses, five in-class group writing projects, and one longer paper (7-8  pages, with a creative option), a group presentation, a mid term, and a final.