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Writing Women 1660-1760

ENGL 553.401
instructor(s):
F 9-12:00

An introduction to the work of the most influential female writers of Britain's "Augustan" age, and to culture in which their work emerged. No previous knowledge of the eighteenth century is required, and students from disciplines other than English are welcome. Our goal will be to ask not only how women wrote but how they *were written* -- what possibilities existed (or could be imagined) for women as individuals, as members of families, as citizens, and as authors . We shall look at a small number of authors, a few of whom we shall study in some depth, asking questions such as these: what forms of social authority were available to women during this period? what alternatives were conceivable, and what kinds of worlds were created (or denied) as particular notions of gendered identity and authority were represented in texts? The emphasis will be on fiction, but several other genres will be represented (typically, poetry, drama, conduct writing, periodical writing, and political polemic). Typical authors:� Behn, Manley, Pope, Swift, Haywood, Burney, Wollstonecraft.