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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: Women writers in early modern France (ELCF10067)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEuropean Languages and Cultures - French Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionUntil very recently, the literary production of early modern women writers has been unjustly undermined by critics. In the early modern period, to be a woman was to comply with the patriarchal triptych: "silence, obedience and chastity". Female authorship was therefore controversial. Seen as monstrous by those who confined women to the domestic sphere, women writers were often turned into "Muses" and exemplars of virtue and wisdom by the defenders of the "fair sex". This course will bring to light the works of some of the most fashionable and bestselling women writers from the Renaissance to the mid-eighteenth century. While replacing these women's writings in the context of the Querelle des femmes (a centuries-long debate over woman's place in society), the course will explore the extent to which, and the ways in which these women writers subvert the patriarchal ideology that shaped the society in which they wrote, and whether, in the process, they establish a dialogue with the works of male writers. Given the popularity of these women writers well into the late eighteenth century, the course will not only aim to uncover whether or not these women writers can be labelled as the foremothers of "feminism", but also to analyse these women writers' works in aesthetic terms: what made them into bestsellers? What impact did they have on the male writers that form the current canon of French authors and, more generally speaking, on the fashioning of literary taste in France?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 (ELCF08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Entry to Honours in French
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Intended learning outcomes specific to this course are:

1) A good knowledge and understanding of the major cultural movements in early modern France:
- Humanism
- Querelle des femmes
- Preciosite
- Querelle des Anciens et des modernes
- The Enlightenment.

2) A good understanding of the socio-cultural and historical influences
- That shaped sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth- century French literature
- That shaped the mapping of womanhood and the construction of female selfhood, and surrounded the "birth", and both attacks against and praises, of the female writer.
- That encouraged the making of a "feminist" consciousness.
3) A good understanding of gender issues, feminist theoretical frameworks and their relevant application to the reading of works by early modern women writers.
4) an appreciation of the female-authored works under scrutiny in aesthetic terms and in relation to works written by men, and of prose writing in the early modern period.

By the end of the course, students will be expected to show the ability:
- to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the subject;
- to recognise and acknowledge the complexity of the subject;
- to show a good understanding of, and apply competently, complex conceptual frameworks;
- to construct coherent arguments which demonstrate an awareness of the problems posed by the texts and issues which they are studying;
- to demonstrate a high level of expression in both written and oral presentations;
- to demonstrate the mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods;
- to offer alternative perspectives, identify and accommodate ambiguities and show an awareness of nuance;
- to develop original ideas;
- to demonstrate an awareness of the research agenda relating to the topic.

Assessment Information
One 2,000 word essay (40%) and one 90 minute exam (60%)

Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsDELC Women Writers
Course organiserDr Severine Genieys-Kirk
Tel: (0131 6)51 1734
Course secretaryMrs Jacqueline Barnhart
Tel: (0131 6)50 4026
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