This is the course schedule. Check back regularly.

A note on the texts: Links are provided and copies will be placed on reserve. Some of the texts are available for purchase either as e-books or in hard copy. You are welcome to purchase or borrow other editions.

Jan. 5 — Introduction: Can one use the master’s tools?

Discussion: John Knox, from The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) (available here, here, and here); Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” (here and here)

Jan. 12 — Towards a distaff tradition of English literature

Readings: Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own (here, or here)

Jan. 19 — Anglo Saxon and medieval period: early voices

Readings: “The Wife’s Lament” (translations here, here, here, and here); Marie de France, “Lanval” (or here)

Jan. 26 — Middle Ages: Claiming religion/Discussion of the first assignment, including research methods

Guest: Janet Fraser, Research Librarian
Readings:  Julian of Norwich: read the first seven of these excerpts, as well as some of the biographical notes; and  Margery Kempe: read the excerpts at Luminarium and the first and third excepts from other sites, as well as some of the biographical notes. You might also look at one or both of these two articles.
Presentation: Stacy A. and Jaclyn F. on nunneries

Feb. 2 — 16th century

Readings: Anne Askew (1521–1546); Elizabeth I (1533-1603); Isabella Whitney (ca. 1540-after 1580); Jane Anger (c1589); Mary (Sidney) Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561-1621)
Presentation: Courtney G., Tiffany M., Rachel T. and Tomalyn Y. on Elizabeth I; Naomi K. and Heather R. on Askew

Feb. 9 — Early 17th century

Readings:  Aemilia Lanyer (1569-1645): bio, “The Description of Cooke-ham“; Mary Wroth (1587–1651) bio, sonnets from Pamphilius to Amphilanthus and Urania (here, here, and here); Dorothy Osborne (1627–1695): bio, early letters; Elizabeth Rowe (1674–1737): bio, poems

Feb. 16 — Restoration: a model and two cautionary tales

Readings: Margaret Cavendish (in particular, this, this, this, this, and this); Aphra Behn (this story); Katherine Philips (bio and poetry here and here)
Presentation:  Tiffany D. and Kyle S. on Cavendish

Feb. 23 — Restoration: drama

Readings: Behn’s The Rover (available here, here, here, and elsewhere)
on–line: selected criticisms of Behn
Presentation: Cassie F. and Danielle J. on women in the theatre; Richard J., Heather M., and Hillary S. on Behn

Mar. 1 — Late 17th and early 18th centuries: the debate about women’s education

Readings: Mary Astell; Wollstonecraft
Presentation: Sam E. on Wollstonecraft
Deadline: Library assignment due (New deadline)

Mar. 5 — 9 Reading Week

Mar. 15 — Class cancelled due to illness

Mar. 22 — 18th century: Backlash against “scribbling women”

Readings: Pope, from The Dunciad; Polwhele; selected criticisms of “the triumvirate of wit”; some responses

Mar. 29 — 18th century: Bluestockings

Readings: From March 15: Manley, The Adventures of Rivella (here and here)
For today: Hannah More (read one or two tales); Frances Burney (links to essays at bottom of page); Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (on smallpox; “The Nonsense of Common Sense“); Sarah Fielding (read the intro. and a couple of the vignettes from The Governess); Elizabeth Montagu (intro. to An Essay on the Writings & Genius of Shakespear [avail electronically through Quest]); Anna Laetitia Barbauld (“To Mr. Barbauld“); Elizabeth Carter (sonnet); Hester Chapone (glance through Letters on the improvement of the mind); Catherine Talbot (in The Rambler); Sara Scott (glance at Millennium Hall); Clara Reeve (Memoir)

Presentations: Nick H. on Manley; Catherine D., topic TBA;  Amanda N. and Bryan R. on the Bluestockings

Apr. 5 — Final class: Canceled

New deadline: Wikipedia assignment due by final day of exam period (i.e. April 21, 4pm)

Leave a comment


  1. This week sometime, « the distaff side
  2. I think « the distaff side
  3. Caught up! « the distaff side

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s