Rethinking Gender: From the Bronte Sisters to Eimear McBride - CP629

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury
(version 3)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR KM Haustein-Corcoran

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

None

2018-19

Overview

This module investigates representations of gender and identity in a selection of texts by women writers from different temporal, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. In particular, it seeks to explore the way in which representations of "self" and "other", love and desire, madness and motherhood reflect the respective socio-cultural contexts and the situation of women therein. Corporeal aesthetics, patterns of behaviour labelled as feminine or masculine, representations of transgressive conduct, and relations of power will be investigated, drawing on classic feminist theory and historiography (Wollstonecraft, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Butler, Moi, Badinter), psychoanalytical thought (Freud), narratology (Genette), genre-theory (Bakhtin) subject-theory (Sartre, Levinas, Derrida) and studies in visual culture (Barthes, Sontag, Mulvey).

Students will be asked to engage with the significance of images and representations of women and men proliferated through literature. These representations provide or question role models and perpetuate or problematise stereotypical versions of female/male goals and aspirations. Furthermore, emphasis will be placed on close readings of the selected literary works, on cultural differences and variations, and on how conceptions of sex and gender are changing in the course of time.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

Total Study Hours: 20

Method of assessment

• Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%
• Essay 1 (2,000 words) – 30%
• Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List -

Barnes, D. Nightwood
de Beauvoir, S. The Second Sex
Brontë, C. Jane Eyre
Brontë, E. Wuthering Heights
Djebar, A. Fantasia
Duras, M. The Lover
Erneaux, A. A Frozen Woman
Ferrante, E. My Brilliant Friend
Jelinek, E. The Piano Player
Keun. I. The Artificial Silk Girl
McBride, E. A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
The Piano Player [Film] Dir. Michael Haneke
Wollstonecraft, M. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Woolf, V. Mrs Dalloway

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will:

8.1 Demonstrate an awareness of diverse aesthetic strategies for representing love, desire and the body in a number of different texts written by women from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds;
8.2 Grasp the importance of the specific cultural, linguistic and historic contexts from which the texts spring and their impact upon the particular representational choices;
8.3 Show an understanding of the complexities which inform the treatment of issues of love, desire, gender, sexual morality, sexuality and representations of the body in the respective texts;
8.4 Understand the importance of prose fiction as a mirror of ideologies in general;
8.5 Understand the significance of images and representations of women proliferated through literature in particular;
8.6 Grasp key concepts of feminist theory.

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