UT Dallas Syllabus for husl6372.001 06s taught by Erin Smith (erins)

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Spring 2006 HUSL 6372.001 Wed. 3:30 – 6:15 p.m. JO 4.914

Dr. Erin Smith Office: GR 2.208 Phone: (972) 883-2338 e-mail: [email protected] http://www.utdallas.edu/~erins

Office Hours: Tues. 3:30 - 5 p.m. Wed. 2 – 3:15 p.m. And by appointment T, W, Th American Women Writers This course is both an historical survey of American women’s writing from the early Republic to the present and a critical consideration of the place of these texts in the American literary tradition. We will discuss how gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and class have influenced access to education and the literary marketplace. We will examine the creation of an American literary canon in the 1940s and 1950s that excluded most women writers and the “rediscovery” of many of these authors by feminist critics in the 1970s and 1980s. Topics include: the rise of the novel, best-selling 19th-century sentimental fiction, gender and notions of genius, local color writing, proletarian fiction and other “political” writing, the creation of cultural hierarchies (“Literature,” bestsellers, “trash”), the significance of national literary traditions, and the connections between book publication and other media (magazines, radio, film, and television). Texts: Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple (1791) Fanny Fern, Ruth Hall (1855) Sarah Orne Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899) Gertrude Stein, 3 Lives (1909) Anzia Yezierska, Salome of the Tenements (1923) Willa Cather, The Professor’s House (1925) Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) Tereska Torres, Women’s Barracks (1950) Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine (1984, 1993) Julia Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies (1995) Monique Truong, Book of Salt (2003) A “Chick Lit” title of your own choosing
All texts are available at the UTD Bookstore and at Off-Campus books. All secondary readings are on e-reserve at McDermott Library at: http://utdallas.docutek.com/eres/coursepage.aspx?cid=57

COURSE REQUIREMENTS/EVALUATION CRITERIA: *seminar attendance, preparation and participation *class presentation (including 1-page handout of 3-5 questions for discussion) *Final Project *prospectus (3 pages) and bibliography due Wed. 15 Mar. *final paper (20 pages) due Wed. 26 April


Course Schedule Wed. 11 Jan. Intro. to Course

Wed. 18 Jan. Rowson, Charlotte Temple Cathy Davidson, chap. 4, “Literacy, Education, and the Reader” in Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (New York: Oxford UP, 1986): 55-79 (e-reserve).

Wed. 25 Jan. Fern, Ruth Hall Susan Coultrap-McQuin, chap. 1, “Why Try A Writing Career?: The Ambiguous Cultural Context for Women Writers of the Mid-Nineteenth Century” in Doing Literary Business: American Women Writers in the Nineteenth Century (Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1990): 1-26 (e-reserve).

Wed. 1 Feb. Jewett, Country of the Pointed Firs Richard H. Brodhead, chap. 5, “Jewett, Regionalism, and Writing as Women’s Work” in Cultures of Letters: Scenes of Reading and Writing in Nineteenth-Century America (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1993): 142-76 (e-reserve).

Wed. 8 Feb. Chopin, The Awakening Gayle Rubin, chap. 3, “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy of Sex’” in The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory, ed. Linda Nicholson (New York: Routledge, 1997): 27-62 (ereserve).

Wed. 15 Feb. Stein, 3 Lives Shari Benstock, chap. 1, “Women of the Left Bank” in Women of the Left Bank: Paris, 1900-1940 (Austin: U of Texas P, 1986): 3-36 (e-reserve).


Wed. 22 Feb. Yezierska, Salome of the Tenements Nan Enstad, chap. 2, “Ladies of Labor: Fashion, Fiction, and Working Women’s Culture” in Ladies of Labor, Girls of Adventure: Working Women, Popular Culture, and Labor Politics at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (NY: Columbia UP, 1999): 48-83 (e-reserve).

Wed. 1 Mar. Cather, The Professor’s House Nina Baym, “Melodramas of Beset Manhood: How Theories of American Fiction Exclude Women Authors” in The New Feminist Criticism, ed. Elaine Showalter (New York: Pantheon, 1985): 63-80 (ereserve). O’Brien, Sharon, chap. 10, “Becoming Noncanonical: The Case Against Willa Cather” in Reading in America: Literature and Social History, ed. Cathy N. Davidson (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1989): 240-58 (e-reserve).

SPRING BREAK – Wed. 8 March

Wed. 15 Mar. – Prospectus and Bibliography Due Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God Barbara Johnson, chap. 9, “Metaphor, Metonymy and Voice in Their Eyes Were Watching God” in Black Literature and Literary Theory, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (New York: Routledge, 1984): 205-19 (e-reserve) Alice Walker, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (New York: Harcourt, 1983): 231-43 (e-reserve).

Wed. 22 Mar. Torres, Women’s Barracks Yvonne Keller, “’Was It Right to Love Her Brother’s Wife So Passionately?’: Lesbian Pulp Novels and U. S. Lesbian Identity, 1950-1965,” American Quarterly 57.2 (June 2005): 385-410 (e-reserve). Lillian Faderman, chap. 5, “’Naked Amazons and Queer Damozels’: World War II and Its Aftermath,” in Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Penguin, 1991): 118-38 (e-reserve).

Wed. 29 Mar.


Erdrich, Love Medicine (1984, 1993) E. Shelly Reid, “The Stories We Tell: Louise Erdrich’s Identity Narratives,” MELUS 25. 3-4 (AutumnWinter 2000): 65-86 (e-reserve).

Wed. 5 Apr. Alvarez, In the Time of the Butterflies Gloria Anzaldúa, “Preface” and chap. 2, “Movimientos de rebeldía y las culturas que traicionan” (1523) in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1987) (e-reserve).

Wed. 12 Apr. Truong, Book of Salt (2003) David L. Eng, “Out Here and Over There: Queerness and Diaspora in Asian American Studies,” Social Text 52/53 (Autumn-Winter 1997): 31-52 (e-reserve).

Wed. 19 Apr. A “Chick Lit” title of your own choosing Janice Radway, chap. 4, "The Ideal Romance: The Promise of Patriarchy" in Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature (Chapel Hill: UNC P, 1991): 119-157 (e-reserve). Angela McRobbie, “Post-Feminism and Popular Culture,” Feminist Media Studies 4.3 (2004): 255-64 (ereserve). Anne E. Stein, “Chick Lit’s Offspring: Genre that pays homage to the urban single life sets off in new directions,” Chicago Tribune 20 July 2005, Sec. 8, 1-2 (e-reserve). Alison Neumer, “Author critical, conflicted when it comes to the fiction that made her famous,” Chicago Tribune 20 July 2005, Sec. 8, 1-2 (e-reserve). Felicia Lee, “Pioneers of black chick lit are moving into midlife and taking their characters with them,” Chicago Tribune 20 July 2005, Sec. 8, 3 (e-reserve).

Final Papers Due in my office by 4:00 on Wednesday 26 April

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