English 100

Junior Seminar: Women, Nationality, and Modernism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2007 Hollis, Catherine
Hollis, Catherine
TTh 9:30-11 223 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Sylvia Ashton Warner: Spinster; Bowen, E.: The Last September and The Heat of the Day; Butts, M.: The Taverner Novels; Mansfield, K.: Stories; Rhys, J.: Voyage in the Dark, Good Morning, Midnight , and Wide Sargasso Sea ; Sylvia Townsend Warner: Lolly Willowes; White, A.: Frost in May; Woolf, V.: Three Guineas


In Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf�s critique of patriarchy and war, she claims: �As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.� In this seminar, we will read women�s modernist fiction�from both English and colonial writers�that addresses questions of British national identity and gender through modernist literary experimentation. At least half of these writers are colonial subjects ( Anglo-Irish , New Zealand , and Dominica ), allowing us to situate their articulation of hybrid national identity against the native English writers. The novels we read in this seminar focus on childhood, schooling, sexuality, maternity, and aging as sites for the inscription of identity. Although such themes would seem to situate these novels as �women�s domestic realism� (and certainly many of them have been marginalized from accounts of canonical modernist fiction), we will find that their use of modernist style resists the compartmentalization of genre. Modernist style elucidates the fissures in the domestic: it marks the place of resistance within the domestic to the interpellation of identity by cultural and national discourses.

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