English | Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies
L663 | 21631 | Gubar

L663  21631 GUBAR (#6)
Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies

2:30p – 4:00p TR

For the first time, this survey will be taught using the new Norton
Reader of Feminist Literary Theory and Criticism.  It will open with
classic texts in the history of feminism from the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries to the nineteen seventies.  Here we will pay
particular attention to Mary Wollstonecraft, Anna Julia Cooper,
Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Audre Lorde, Tillie Olsen, Alice
Walker, and Adrienne Rich.  Then we will read a cluster of feminist
scholars attempting to redefine literary history and the canon:
Elaine Showalter, Annette Kolodny, Jane Tompkins, Barbara
Christian.  With a little help from intellectual historians, we will
look at the work of influential feminist thinkers in psychology and
anthropology like Nancy Chodorow and Gayle Rubin as well as such
French theorists as Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray.  Then we will
approach the impact of post-structuralism on American feminism
through short texts by Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and bell
hooks.  In the second half of the course, we will focus on recent
scholarship on gender in critical race, post-colonial, sexuality,
trauma, and cultural studies.  In an effort to see where feminist
theory and criticism is going, we will probably conclude by drawing
on some materials on electronic reserve.

Students will be asked to produce two one-page response statements
to help generate discussion.  These should be made available on
Oncourse twenty-four hours before the pertinent class session.
There are also two longer required essays, each approximately 10-12
pages long.  In the first paper, students will be asked to consider
the earlier history of feminist criticism and theory by dealing with
a figure prominent before the nineteen seventies.  In the second
paper, students will be encouraged to examine one significant aspect
of the impact of feminist theory and criticism on their future area
of expertise.  Before Thanksgiving break, we will devote several
sessions in workshop to help improve critical writing.