Amy C. Lanning
C LIT 240
Comparative approach to literature and a workshop in writing comparative papers in English. Emphasis on cross-cultural comparison of literary works. Readings in English with an option to read selected texts in the original languages Offered: AWSp.
Ambivalence and Rebellion in the Domestic Sphere Our theme will explore early 20th century representations of the home in literature and, more specifically, women as wives and mothers before the Second World War. In the first half of the course we will analyze “The Yellow Wallpaper” in regard to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s depiction of gender roles and how women responded to and wrote their way out of domestic confinement. Then we will read Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening in order to examine the commodity culture of a time in which “ladies” were forced to embrace traditional values, resulting in a struggle with their own sexuality and sense of worth. In the second half we will examine increasingly modern representations of the evolving role of women by reading select Katherine Mansfield and Hemingway short stories that expose patriarchal culture in an attempt to bring clashing gender priorities to the fore. We will conclude with a cinematic exploration of the negative consequences of extreme self-identification with the domestic function as evidenced in the Hollywood film by director Dorothy Arzner entitled Craig’s Wife.
Student learning goals
In this course you will learn to construct arguments analyzing the texts that we read in terms of genre, form, culture, and history. You will also learn to support your ideas using formal elements within the course texts and to write papers that engage in larger academic conversations at the college level. In the process you will become a more efficient reader of literature and learn to seize and address concepts that are integral to your own purposes as a writer as well as to those of the discipline of Comparative Literature.
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be a composite of in-class participation, the HW close reading blog, and multiple written papers.