English | Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies
L663 | 13483 | Gubar

L663  13483 GUBAR (#6)
Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies

2:30p  4:00p TR

This survey opens with classic texts in the history of feminism:
Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own and her Three Guineas. The rest
of the syllabus draws upon the Norton reader of Feminist Literary
Theory and Criticism and the second volume of The Norton Anthology
of Literature by Women (NALW, 3rd edition). We will be using the
latter so as to integrate literature into conversations that will
map the complex evolution of feminist theory from its philosophical
absorption with the Otherness of womanhood to its deployment of
anthropology and psychoanalysis so as to uncover the kinship systems
that construct femininity; from its investment in critical race
studies and identity politics to its linguistic turn in post-
structuralism, which undermined identity politics and simultaneously
generated the enterprises of sexuality studies and queer theory.
Recent scholarship on gender in post-colonial studies will lead us
to contemporary work on gender in trauma studies.

We will be reading not only to understand a given argument but also
to comprehend how scholarly and academic arguments are made.
Critical writing will recurrently take up our attention. What sorts
of styles are available to us and with what strings attached?  How
can we responsibly enter into a critical conversation while making a
claim or our own?  Requirements include two one-page response papers
as well as two longer required essays, each approximately 10-12
pages long.  Before Thanksgiving break, we will devote several
sessions in workshop to help improve critical writing.