As 21st century feminism awakens to human rights issues within childbearing and child-rearing, Mary Wollstonecraft’s early feminist writing can serve as an illuminating jumping-off point. From the dawn of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th, this seminar will help guide us toward an understanding of the essential historical movement toward a politically, spiritually, and narratively evolved embrace of the female body, as well as shape our inquiries into assisted reproductive technology and gender fluidity, looking for ways to contextualize and complicate our beliefs, opinions, and stories about existence within these particular bodies. The literature of the reproductive body will be our primary focus, though we’ll touch upon anthropology and sociology as well. Within a comprehensive historical context, we’ll sharpen and hone the tools we need for deconstructing our current cultural moment. Writers and texts include Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, and Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich.