Undergraduate English Courses

358:307 Medieval Women Writers

01 T7   CAC  17502   GREENE     SC-214    
    TH7                                SC-116

In this course we will explore the wide range of women’s writing in England from the Anglo-Saxon period through the Renaissance. We will consider questions of female authorship as well as questions of gendered readership and audience.  We will read in a variety of genres, including meditations, translations, royal speeches, drama, sonnets, and prose fiction. How did women’s writing challenge this period’s prevailing notions of authorship and textual production? What role did genre play in women’s authorship? How was writing related to women’s labor, and to female communities, and how might writing have helped women imagine and shape their social and religious roles, relationships, and communities?

Writers we will be reading include Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Christine de Pizan, Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney, Amelia Lanyer, Elizabeth Cary, Mary Wroth, Margaret Cavendish, and Katherine Philips.

There will be two essays, and a midterm and final exam.