This course will follow women's quest for and attainment of power, focusing on the ways in which the women's movement extends to and is driven by the realm of literature. By means of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century literature, we will trace the origins and rise of the women's movement, examining its literature as well as the literature of its opposition. Over the course of the semester, we will study the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, William Thackeray, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison. The reading load will of necessity be quite heavy. Course requirements include two essays, a presentation, regular attendance, and lively participation.