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Lecture

ENGC54H3 Lecture Notes - Gynocriticism, Short Story


Department
English
Course Code
ENGC54H3
Professor
Natalie Rose

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Complements ENGB50
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Looking at how women's writers discuss female liberation
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How did women writers in the 20th cent and into the 21st use genre to articulate ideas
about genre and express concerns about women's lives
How do the gender genres
A lot of short fiction, poetry and plays
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Midterm
Show off literary critique techniques
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Dealing with poems
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Essay
Topics will be assigned end of October/ early November
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Close reading + argument
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Exam
Short answer questions - looking for discrete, very focused answers, very specific questions
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It was the short story which was the most crucial term for women
1890s: short stories becomes its own genre
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Femitizing speaking, talking, trying to write while being silenced
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Engages with what women write about and why they write about it
Culture and Anarchy - responds to Walkers essay
Adrean Rich - one of the most important 20th cent writers
Muse - the traditional mode of use was for a male poet to use a female muse, but gender
swapping and women looking for inspiration in men or other avenues
Poetry
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Historical phenomenon that Churchill exploits
Witch craft was used as a scapegoat for society to silence women who were looking for liberation
and power
Churchill - witch craft in the 17th century
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Flur - at the end of the anthology, which takes on magic and women's power
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Gynocriticism
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Elaine Showalter, "Towards a Feminist Aesthetics" (1979)
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VS "feminist critique" of men's writing
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Once we start to talk about women's writing itself we are basically doing what critics in the 1970s caled
gynocriticism
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A move forward from feminist critique
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Late 1970s/ early 1980s were very "women heavy" but big gaping holes in the canons of women's
writings in other genres
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Thos who were interested in women's writing looked towards men's writing
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New kind of focus; history, themes, genres and structures of literature by women
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Fairly recent and hard new history to accept this criticism
1979 it was a newly visible world
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Brought out writing from the middle ages and medieval literature
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Literature of Their Own (1977)
"feminine" 1840 -80 (imitation)
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Questioning standards, and advocating female autonomy
"feminist" 1880 - 1920 (protest)
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"female " 1920 + (self-discovery)
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Problems of gender and genre
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Simone de Beauvoir: "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" ( The Second Sex)
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Gender is a cultural construction; there is no transcendent essence to "femininity"
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Many have come from post-colonial backgrounds
Somewhat of an issue that female writers try to take on the positionality of the entire sex, rather than
just one perspective
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Postcolonial and African-American feminism
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Women are not a homogenous group
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Gender intersects with other modalities of identity
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Differences between women are as important as differences between men and women
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Poststructuralist feminism
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Mary Jacobus: "not the sexuality of a text, but the textuality of sex" ("Reading Woman")
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Language (and women's writing) constructs and produces gender
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Men are the centre and the norm
Women are deviant and abhorrent
We can see that produced in literature
Binary opposition between men and women is cultural, not natural
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Words mean different things to different people, and in women's lit they are slightly "cagey" and
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** The Awakening
** Gilman
** Reading women - Jacobus
Three stages
Intro Lecture
Monday, September 12, 2011
11:38 AM
C. de Souza ENGB51H3 Page 1
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