English | Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Literature
L320 | 14374 | Penelope Anderson

Penelope Anderson

11:15a-12:05p MWF (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.

TOPIC:  "Early Modern Women’s Writing (1640-1750)"

Early modern women’s writing – once thought of as non-existent or
inconsequential – comes in an exhilarating variety of forms written
on a wide range of topics.  For this course, we will explore
Restoration and early eighteenth century women’s writing in all its
diversity, while considering what it means to study “women’s
writing.”  We will begin with early modern debates
about “womankind”:  Did women have souls?  Did they have political
rights?  How did their bodies work, and how should laws regulate the
actions of those bodies?  Throughout, we will also consider the ways
in which these early modern texts illuminate and are illuminated by
contemporary criticism, investigating the categories of sex and
gender, the impact of queer studies, and the relations between race
and gender.  Authors will include Margaret Cavendish, Katherine
Philips, Lucy Hutchinson, Aphra Behn, Delarivier Manley, Mary
Astell, Anne Finch, Eliza Haywood, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and
Charlotte Lennox, among others.

Requirements for the course include attendance and active
participation, one short paper, one presentation on an assigned
topic (biographical, historical, or critical), and a final research
paper.  For the shorter paper, you will use library resources and
Early English Books Online or Eighteenth Century Collections Online
to address the intersections between the material form of a text and
its meaning.  The work for the course will culminate in a long
research paper on a related topic of your choosing.