English 203

Graduate Readings: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2007 Beam, Dorri
Beam, Dorri
Thurs. 2-5 103 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Fuller, M.: The Essential Margaret Fuller; Beecher, C.: Treatise on Domestic Economy; Stowe, H.: Uncle Tom?s Cabin and Dred; Howe, J. W.: The Hermaphrodite; Sweat, M.: Ethel?s Love-Life; Lee, J.: Religious Experience and Journal; Hawthorne, N.: The Blithedale Romance; Wilson, H.: Our Nig; Stoddard, E.: The Morgesons; Oakes-Smith, E.: Bertha and Lily; Spofford, H.: The Amber Gods and Other Stories; Alcott, L.: Alternative Alcott; Gutjar, P.: Popular American Fiction of the Nineteenth Century; Walker, C.: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century


This course offers the opportunity to read a wide selection of fiction, essays, and poetry written by women prior to and during the Civil War. We will examine the history of recovery of nineteenth-century American women writers and the key debates around the politics, and more recently aesthetics, of sentimentality and domesticity. Yet we will also move beyond the small canon installed by this scholarship to read several newly republished (even some yet un-republished) works; to consider the mutual engagement of women writers and Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville (who we will also read), and to reconsider the role of feminism, literary experiment, and sexuality in women?s writing of this period. Along the way, we will query the politics of recovery, assess the possibility of comparative frameworks, and explore the use of gender as a lens of analysis. A portion of the semester will be reserved for the study of women?s poetry, an exciting area attracting new scholarly attention at the moment.

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