Feminist Literary Criticism (Feminista irodalomkritika) in spring 2015
Federmayer Éva, Wed 13:00–14:30, R433, host: DAS (R306)
5-credit seminar, 30 h/term; strong prereq: BMA-AMED-300 301
description & set texts
Feminist literary theory challenges male-centered, elitist literary canons and critical discourses masquerading as universal; indeed, it seeks to formulate models of inquiry based on the structural significance of gender, sexuality, class, and race/ethnicity. This course aims to give an overview of a variety of feminist approaches articulated in English in the context of Anglo-American culture(s). Probing into major texts of feminist literary theory, we discuss feminist claims and argumentative strategies that liberal, socialist, materialist psychoanalytic, postmodernist, poststructuralist, postcolonial, queer, and ecofeminist critics pursue. Given the intermingling of various themes and standpoints especially after the 1970s, we discuss, in a somewhat archeological mode, the emerging discourses of feminist inquiry engaging women’s reprepresentation in (male-authored) literature, women’s tradition of writing and reading, as well as the dilemmas postmodernism, poststructuralistm, postcolonialism, and ecological concerns posed to feminist literary studies. Requirements: active participation in class, oral presentation (based on the texts highlighted in yellow), endterm exam (written). Evaluation: level of participation and presentation=50% + endterm exam=50% Feminist Literary Criticism Syllabus and Readings 1. CANON: Canon formation and women in the literary canon Bloom, Preface and Prelude ; “An Elegy for the Canon” Jane Tompkins, "Sentimental Power: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Politics of Literary History" Lilian S. Robinson, “Treason Our Text: Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon,” 2. SEX, POWER, and CULTURE: Pioneering voices (Friedan, Firestone, Millett) Kate Millett, Preface, “Instances of Sexual Politics,” “Theory of Sexual Politics” 3. TEXT and GENDER: Reading as a woman Elaine Showater, Intro: The Rise of Gender Patrocinio P. Schweickart, “Reading Ourselves: Toward a Feminist Theory of Reading” Judith Fetterley “Palpable Designs: An American Dream: ‘Rip Van Winkle’” 4-5. GENDER and TEXT: Writing as a woman Sandra Gilbert-Susan Gubar, “The Queen’s Looking Glass: Female Creativity, Male Images of Women,” and “Infection in the Sentence” Joanna Russ, How to Suppress Women’s Writing 6. ÉCRITURE FEMININE and Changing locations Ann Rosalind Jones, “Writing the Body: Toward an Understanding of L’écriture Feminine.” Interview with Luce Irigaray 7. PSYCHOANALYSIS Patricia Waugh, “Psychoanalysis, Gender, and Fiction: Alternative ’Selves’” Claudia Tate, “Desire and Death: Seducing the Lost Father in Quicksand, by Nella Larsen” 8. POSTMODERNISM AND POSTRUCTURALISM Patricia Waugh, “Stalemates? Feminists, Postmdernists and Unfinished Issues” and “Postmodernism and Feminism: Where Have All the Women Gone? Diane Elam, “Unncecessary Introductions” 9-10. POSTCOLONIAL ISM AND INTERSECTIONALITY Chandra Mohanty, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses” Sara Mills, “Gender and Colonial Space” Patricia Hill Collins, “Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection” 11. QUEERING Catharine R. Stimpson, “Zero Degree Deviancy. The Lesbian Novel in English” Bonnie Zimmerman, “What Has Never Been: An Overview of Lesbian Feminist Criticism” Judith Butler, “Passing, Queering: Nella Larsen’s Psychoanalytic Challenge” 12. ECOFEMINISM Val Plumwood, “The Ecopolitics Debate and the Politics of Nature” Carolyn Merchant, “Reinventing Eden: Western Culture as a Recovery Narrative” 13. Endterm exam
requirements & assessment
Requirements: active participation in class, oral presentation, endterm exam (written). MA students: 6-8 page essay is required on a topic discussed with professor. Submission deadline: May 24, in attachment. Evaluation: level of participation and presentation=50% + endterm exam=50% Feminist Literary Criticism