A new course: EN 575

Students planning their spring 2011 class schedules may want to consider a new course, EN 575: ” Studies in Literature and Gender – Early Modern Women Authors,” TR 2-3:30, with Prof. Christopher Martin. From the course description:

The rise of humanism in early modern Europe marked one of the most dramatic watersheds in western history, as long-standing social and ideological conventions underwent profound change. Although feminist scholars have questioned the extent to which women enjoyed access to or benefited from such cultural innovation, all recognize the importance of the literary work that women of the period produced. Through a survey of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century women’s writing across national, generic, and class boundaries, our course examines more closely their achievements, from Christine de Pizan’s groundbreaking allegory The Book of the City of Ladies to the multivalent fictions of Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptaméron, from the erotic lyrics of Gaspara Stampa and the Italian courtesan poets to Teresa of Ávila’s spiritual autobiography, from the political rhetoric and correspondence of England’s Queen Elizabeth I to the epistolary and religious poems of her countrywomen Isabella Whitney and Aemilia Lanyer.

Although our chief focus will remain on the way period constructions of gender inflect modes of literary expression, we will also glance towards other art forms through which women of the time fashioned “voices,” such as needlework and the book arts. Throughout, our discussions will attend to the historical settings and intellectual climates—both nurturing and hostile—that these figures reflected and addressed.

This course counts toward a Women’s Studies minor.  For further information about Women’s Studies, contact the program at wsp@bu.edu.

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