Designed for English majors and/or students with some background in Women's Studies. Topics will provide opportunities for in-depth analysis of women writers and gender literary analysis. Issues covered may include: images of women in literature; women's writing in historical/social context; feminist literature theory and literary criticism; intersections of race, class and gender; formation of the literary canon. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.
Fall Semester informationTamara Stasik
390A: Women & Lit: Adv Topics: Misbehaving in the Middle Ages
This course uses the theme of misbehavior to examine conflict in English literature of the Middle Ages. We will read a range of texts that present social and religious expectations of behavior and examine what happens when men, women or children misbehave. Much of our focus will be on literature that is written for, by, or about women in different genres such as saint's lives, romances, drama, fables, religious rules and guides, and secular letters and conduct manuals. We will examine topics of courtly love, violence, the body, virginity, education and literacy in terms of historical, religious and gender conflict. As we think through these texts we will also apply critical approaches such as narrative, reader-response, cultural, feminist and queer theory.
Possible readings drawn from: The South English Legendary, Holy Maidenhood, the Canterbury Tales, The Floure and the Leafe, The Book of Margery Kempe, the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, The Castle of Perseverance, Noah's Flood, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Piers Plowman, Robyn Hood and Guy of Gisborne, Le Morte Darthur, the Book of Courtesye, The Babees Book, the Rule of St. Benedict, the Paston Letters.