English 100

Junior Seminar: Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers�Women and Style

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Fall 2006 Beam, Dorri
Beam, Dorri
TTh 11-12:30 109 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

poetry by Osgood, Dickinson; Fern: Ruth Hall; Stowe: Uncle Tom�s Cabin; Keckley: Behind the Scenes; Fuller: Woman in the Nineteenth Century; Spofford: �The Amber Gods�; Oakes Smith: Bertha and Lily; Wharton: The House of Mirth; Gilman: The Yellow Wallpaper


This course will focus on gender and style while covering a diverse range of texts. We will be interested in the way women writers styled themselves�in what manner they present themselves as authors and artists in the literary marketplace, how they encode textual self-presences, and the way women and art are represented in their texts. The course will also look at the way women�s texts are styled, and how those texts are positioned in relation to specific aesthetic, formal, and literary values, especially as these construct the feminine. All of the texts will confront issues of gender and style through the formal qualities of the work, and many will feature a central female figure who herself practices a literary, fine, domestic, plastic, or dramatic art. Attention will be paid to the larger cultural context and aesthetic debates that these arts reference, and especially to Stowe�s, Spofford�s, Wharton�s and Gilman�s books on decorative style.

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