Comparative Literature | Women in World Literature
C340 | 1223 | Sumie Jones


MW  1:00-2:15         BH 142

Topic:  Women's Vision and the Act of Writing
Satisfies COAS A & H requirement and carries cultural studies credit

	This course will study the nature of femininity by examining
women's visions in world literature. The term " vision" here includes
views and insights as well as visional and visual features of women's
literature. How have women envisioned their lives, the world, and the
act of writing? How have they re-presented life they imagined? How
does visuality function in women's imagination? Are there some
universal elements in the way women are portrayed? Are there cultural
differences in the way they perceive their femininity? Why is it that
women authors are particularly self-conscious about their self-image
as well as about writing? This course will examine these questions on
the basis of women's prose fiction in eastern and western literature,
classical and modern. Readings will include Lady Murasaki's The Tale
of Genji, Madame de Lafayette's The Princess of Cléves, Jane Austen's
Persuasion, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper, Marguerite
Duras' The Lover, Fae Myenne Ng's Bone, and a number of short stories
and essays. On women's views of their roles as writer, we will examine
essays by Virginia Woolf, Helene Cixous and others.
	The topics of lectures and discussions will include women's
sensitivity in relation to the aesthetic and literary concerns of the
time as well as the relationship of these often secluded "women's
worlds" and the "larger" worlds of political, economic, and cultural
systems. Some of the novels studied in this course have been made into
films. A few will be shown in parts in class, but two will be shown in
full outside class sessions. Attendance at these film showings in the
evening will be required. There will be a midterm and a final exam,
both of which will include brief essay components. In addition, two
short essays will be assigned on some of the texts studied in the
course.