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Southern Women Writers: Gendered Bodies, Racial Subjects

ENGL 264.401
crosslisted as: AFRC 266, GSOC 274
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

What conclusions do we reach about the South when we read nineteenth- and twentieth-century writings in which southern women portray race and gender as well as region?  We will examine some of the constructions of “the South” in the production of gender- and race-specific fictions and some of the connections among women writers in their representations of gendered bodies and racial subjects.  Our examination will include, for example, attention both to “whiteness” and “blackness” as constructed categories within Southern literature, and to gender and sexuality as categories of analysis in texts selected from Dorothy Allison, Kate Chopin, Anna Julia Cooper, Kaye Gibbons, Lillian Hellman, Beth Henley, Zora Neale Hurston, Carson McCullers, Margaret Mitchell, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, Alice Randall, Dori Sanders, Evelyn Scott, Lee Smith, Lillian Smith, Alice Walker, Eudora Welty, and Shay Youngblood.