Comparative Literature | The Battle of the Sexes
C146 | 15268-15275 | Dr. Jeff Johnson, supervisor

Department of Comparative Literature, Spring 2007
CMLT-C BE 146: Major Themes in Literature:
The Battle of the Sexes
Class Sections:
15268		MWF 10:10-11:00	       McVey
15270		TR  2:30-3:45	       Oliver
15271		TR 1:00-2:15	       Lichi
15272		MW 4:00-5:15		Varga
15274		TR 11:15-12:30		Dr. Johnson
15275		TR 4:00-5:15		Li
16965		MW 9:30-10:45	        Volkova
J. Johnson, Ph.D. - Supervisor	
meets A&H, Cultural Studies Requirements and fulfills the COAS,
School of Business and School of Education composition requirements
when taken in conjunction with W143

If women are from Venus and men are from Mars, then Earth must be
their battleground.  The battle over which gender is “better,” what
it means to be a woman or a man, how the two sexes should relate to
each other: all of this fuels public debate, squabbles over the
breakfast table, religious and political controversy, and exciting
literature from around the world.  Where would TV sitcoms and stand-
up comedians be without gender stereotypes?   Where do these
stereotypes come from, how do they influence our behavior, and are
we bad people for using them?  Over the course of the semester, we
will sample a wide array of tales that seem to reinforce and dare to
challenge our common ideas about womanhood and manhood.  We will
also visit other time periods and ask whether the battle of the
sexes was so different compared to life in twenty-first century
America.  Have we come a long way, Baby?
All sections of BE 146 will read the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata
by Aristophanes, Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies,
and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland: first, in ancient Athens,
wives and mothers practice a new kind of political power to save
their city from war-hungry men; next, one the most accomplished
women of the European Middle Ages builds a new history of womankind
to turn back the tide of sexist slander; and one of America’s great
authors rewrites the manly adventure novel into a tale of three
explorers who discover an all-female society in South America.
Each section will read additional works unique to that section that
may include short stories, poetry, novels, drama, or satire.
Individual sections may also include television, art, music, and
As the companion to the fall course BE 145, this course continues to
focus on developing skills in critical thinking, clear
communication, and persuasive composition.  The workload includes
three analytical essays, mid-term and final exams, as well as
shorter writing assignments.  Both BE 145 and BE 146 are
automatically bundled with English W143 (a one credit hour course)
to certify composition credit.