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ENG 390

Women and Literature: Advanced Topics

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.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Current Semester Information

Meryl Altman

390A: AdvTps:Greece&Gender

Advanced Topics:Greece and Gender: Ancient Texts and Modern Versions

When we look into depictions of gender and sexuality in the Ancient Greek world, much seems strange to us. Still, much is also familiar, even foundational to how we think about gender and sexuality today. In law, education, and cultural life, we appeal to ancient models even as we rework them; and much important twentieth-century European and American literature was closely entwined with understanding, translating, rewriting the legacy of Ancient Greece.

This course will take a seminar/ discussion approach to exploring some connections and disconnections in the social construction of gender then and now. We'll read many primary ancient literary texts, including drama (Euripides and Sophocles), poetry (Sappho and others), and a little philosophy, along with some historical and critical readings to put them in context; then some twentieth-century writers who draw on ancient inspirations for new gender stories. All readings will be in English, though those who know Greek are encouraged to read along in the original; the course may be counted toward a women's studies major or minor as well as within the English department or Classical Studies.