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Spectacles of Punished Women

ENGL 556.001
instructor(s):
R 3-6

Popular culture has always enjoyed punishing women, but audience attitude to that punishment depends on our times, our gender and class, and--to a degree this course will examine--on the genre of the work.

We will examine punished women in literature and film of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the questions we shall consider are the relation between punishment and the work's ideology of justice, the degree to which we are urged to enjoy a woman's punishment, the methods which turn that punishment into a cry of injustice and an inducement to social change.

Among the works we shall read are: Jane Austen, EMMA; Tolstoy, ANNA KARENINA; Ellen Wood, EAST LYNNE; and Tennyson, IDYLLS OF THE KING. Films will include BROKEN BLOSSOM, PSYCHO, and FATAL ATTRACTION.

Each student will present at least one oral report and write a 10-20-page paper on a work not covered in class.