The Real Housewives of Lit (LIT2528.01)

Manuel Gonzales

Beginning with Medea and Lysistrata, we will look at various women, ‘housewives’ you might say (though I wouldn’t, not to their faces) through literature, possibly moving into Taming of the Shrew and MacBeth, skipping ever so lightly into the 19th century to pop in on Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë, before moving firmly into the modern literature of the early- and mid- and late-20th century, where we might stop in on Virginia Woolf, Daphne du Maurier, Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf), Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby), Tayari Jones, Helen Oyeyemi, and Julie Iromuanya. Is this list exhaustive? No. Is it set in stone? Not that, either. What about married women who work, will we consider them, too? Quite probably. In short, the course hopes to travel through literature to explore the ways in which women — more particularly, married women — have been depicted by various classic and contemporary texts, with particular attention paid to assumed agency or lack thereof, autonomy (lack, etc), as well as an exploration of what marriage itself has meant (or continues to mean) in terms of its importance as a social or political or economic contract, and what we might discover as well when looking at how these women are depicted by varying lenses and authorial points of view.

Learning Outcomes:
*Take a broad look at the literature of marriage and being married, examined through various theoretical frameworks
*Discuss the ways in which the points of view of specific authors when writing about married women have (or have not) evolved over time and shifting narrative styles and structures.
*Write critically and creatively within the context of the social construct of housewifery

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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