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Mothers and Daughters, Together and Apart: Myth, Theory, and Literature

ENGL 265.601
instructor(s):
T 5:30-8:30

Need the relationship between mother and daughter be tragic? The romance as well
as the antagonisms between mothers and daughters have been beautifully addressed
by some of the best writers of our time! In this course, we'll be examining the  ways in which writers have represented the relationships between mothers, who  are also daughters, and daughters, who see a possible future in their mothers.  How does this first relationship inform what it means to be a woman? We'll start by examining a few influential myths regarding mothers and daughters: the stories of Persephone and Demeter, Snow White and her (step)mother, and Rapunzel. We'll then read contemporary literature alongside the work of feminist psychoanalytic theorists such as Nancy Chodorow and Luce Irigaray in order to gain an understanding of the complexity of these relationships.  Writers may include: Angela Carter, Toni Morrison, Rita Dove, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Tanith Lee, and Edith Olivier. Films may include Lovely and
Amazing, Crooklyn, and Curse of the Cat People.