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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryUntil 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 in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Course description 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 during their own lives and beyond, the course will not only aim to uncover whether or not these women writers can be labelled as the foremothers of 'feminism'.
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
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework:
1 x 2000 word essay (80%)
1 x in-class presentation (10%)
1 x class participation (10%)

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the chosen specialism(s); to demonstrate the mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods
  2. recognise and acknowledge the complexity of the subject; to carry out personal research under the guidance of the tutor and offer evidence of research initiative
  3. show a good understanding of and apply competently complex conceptual frameworks; to offer alternative perspectives, identify and accommodate ambiguities and show an awareness of nuance
  4. construct coherent arguments which demonstrate an awareness of the problems posed by the texts/ issues which they are studying; to develop original ideas
  5. demonstrate a high level of expression in both written and oral presentations; to demonstrate an awareness of the research agenda relating to the topic
Reading List
The set texts and periods studied may vary from one year to another; but the course will generally cover texts by sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century authors and will consist of
Introduction plus 2 or 3 two-hour sessions per text.
The course will be based on a selection from the following novels or authors:

Marguerite de Navarre, 'L'Heptameron' (Flammarion, 1999)
Madeleine de Scudéry, 'L'histoire des amants infortunés' and 'L'Histoire de Sapho' in Artamènes ou le Grand Cyrus, eds. Alexandre Gefen et Claude Bourqui, 2006.
Mme d'Aulnoy, 'Contes de fées', ed. Constance Cagnat-Debeuf (Folio classique, 2008)
Mme de Villedieu, 'Mémoires de la vie de Henriette-Sylvie de Molière', ed. René Démoris (Desjonquères, 2003).
Mme de Riccoboni, 'Histoire de M. Le Marquis de Cressy' (Paris : Folio, 2009).
Isabelle de Charrière, 'Sir Walter Finch et son fils William' (Paris: Folio, 2008).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course has the same aims as all French Options, which are well established and universally praised by both students and external examiners as fostering depth of understanding of rich intellectual fields and the ability to write and speak about them intelligently and cogently in French
KeywordsQuerelle des femmes,humanism,feminism,phallocentricism,galanterie,patriarchy,gender representations
Course organiserDr Severine Genieys-Kirk
Tel: (0131 6)51 1734
Course secretaryMrs Elsie Gach
Tel: (0131 6)50 8421
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