Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-10:50 AM

Professor: Andrea Wolfe

This course will focus on reimagining female submission, monstrosity, and absence in literature. Students will take up questions that modern-day readers may have about the women depicted in canonical literature as passive, mentally ill, and even non-existent. For instance, how does Penelope really feel about the Trojan War that causes Odysseus’s 20-year absence from their home in Ithaca? What is Bertha like before she is chained up in the attic of Mr. Rochester’s estate for ten years? And where is Mammy’s own daughter as she dotes on the young belle, Scarlett O’Hara, throughout Scarlett’s childhood? The course will ask students to read original classic texts alongside contemporary novels that reveal the previously unwritten thoughts, feelings, and actions of the stories’ female characters. Paired readings may include Homer’s The Odyssey and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea; and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and Alice Randall’s The Wind Done Gone. The course will likely also include a brief discussion of fairytales reimagined from female characters’ perspectives and require students to produce creative revisions of tales of their choosing. In addition to this creative project, students will compose a couple of short essays on the texts covered in the class. This course is designed for students who are not majoring or minoring in English; all are welcome!

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