Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Gender, Sexuality and Literature: SPECTACLES OF PUNISHED WOMEN

ENGL 090.401
crosslisted as: COML 090, GSOC 090
instructor(s):
TR 3-4:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 5: 19th Century Literature of the Standard Major

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 or protest against it, turning punishment into an inducement to social   change.

We shall read works by both women and men, analyzing their  possibly different treatments of punishment. Among them are Jane Austen, EMMA; Dickens, OLIVER TWIST, Ellen Wood, EAST LYNNE; and Tennyson, IDYLLS OF THE KING. Films will include BROKEN BLOSSOM, PSYCHO, and FATAL ATTRACTION.

Each student will write a midterm and a final exam. There will also be an optional paper focusing on a nineteenth-century novel of your choice beyond the syllabus.