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Topics in Women and Literature

ENGL 290.601
instructor(s):
TR 7-8:20

The experience of settling in a country that is not one's own--of passing into a new habitat--will be explored through texts published in the twentieth-century by a diverse group of women writers. Relocation results from a variety of reasons--some come to new worlds as colonizers, some as immigrants seeking economic improvement; some flee their native lands because of political persecution or physical jeopardy; many are uprooted as children, following parents who have had to make these decisions for them; some resettle because of marriage. Through active class discussion and extensive reading, we will examine how women have experienced, remembered, and described the cultural upheavals that have inevitably flowed from either their own displacements or those of their fictional characters. Likely authors include Willa Cather, Anzia Yezierska, Isak Dinesen, Joan Lindsay, Marguerite Duras, Doris Lessing, Bessie Head, Maxine Hong Kingston, Esmeralda Santiago, Elizabeth Nunez-Harrell, Chitra Divakaruni, and Julia Alvarez. Assignments: class presentation and two papers.