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We will read an amazing range of work in this course: just for example: a groundbreaking science fiction prose narrative; a sister’s brilliant addition to her famous brother’s poetry; an edgy “will” to the city of London, written by a servant; a narrative about an African prince sold into slavery; a tragedy written by a woman who was in dangerous conflict with her husband; and poetry written by a woman living at the edge of imagined world.
Until about thirty years ago, a course devoted to Renaissance women writers could well have seemed laughable; such an omission seems laughable now. In this course, devoted to the significant body of writing by Renaissance women, we will also explore why previous generations forgot Renaissance women writers and how they were remembered again.
We will focus on, among others, Isabella Whitney, Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney, Elizabeth Cary, Amelia Lanyer, Mary Wroth, Anne Bradstreet, Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn.
Course participation will be important. There will also be three short papers, a mid-term and a final exam.