Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00-10:50 AM
Professor: Molly Ferguson
“And the supreme mystery was simply this: here was one room; there another. Did religion solve that, or love?”
-Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Bedrooms, chambers, offices…the walls of a room contain a space and often dictate what happens inside. The theme of interior, domestic spaces and how these spaces can influence writing will thread throughout the readings in Contemporary British Literature. Rooms may reflect the roles of women in the private sphere, containment of dangerous ideas, or the changing nature of home and nation in England/the UK (as seen most recently with the Brexit vote). This course will open with “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf, and then we will read works by Angela Carter, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jeannette Winterson, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, and finish with Room by Emma Donoghue. We will address current themes and concerns of British writers, such as: how to represent the past/future, confronting imperialism, cultural difference in England, class status, gender roles, and experimentations with language and narrative style. Anticipate a longer paper, “creative reinterpretation” project, group projects, and lively class discussion.