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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Literature, Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Course: Rooms of Their Own: Feminist Thought in Literature (LLLG07097)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
Summary In this course we shall explore the development of women's writing and social politics, looking at how feminist thought has been expressed in literature from the 19th century onward. Reading seminal novels by women, we will discuss topics including the 19th century 'New Woman', the struggle for artistic recognition that many women writers have faced, and global gender issues.
Course description Students on this course will read a selection of texts written by women. Early feminist philosophy will be explored through A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft and through our reading of A Room of One's Own and Jane Eyre we shall consider the impact Woolf and Bronte have had on the literary landscape. We shall consider how 'confessional' texts such as Chopin's The Awakening and Kraus's I Love Dick were received by contemporary readers and reviewers, and how far they have expedited changes in social attitudes towards femininity and the place of women in society. Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale will expose questions of sex, morality, power and allow us to consider the science fiction genre in a feminist context. Students will read two post-colonial novels and be asked to consider the relationship between history and the development of feminist theories.

Through mini-lectures and supportive seminars, this course will give students the opportunity to read and discuss a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as introducing literary theory based on feminist thought. Attention will be given to political, historical, social and cultural contexts. Students will be given introductory lectures on each text/author and will be asked to participate in group discussion, and be given the opportunity to deliver a short presentation. With guidance, students will identify literary devices through the close reading of excerpts and be encouraged to use recognised literary critical methodologies in their analysis of texts.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  18
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2000 word essay submitted at the end of the course = 100%
Feedback Detailed written feedback is given on an optional practice essay, submitted in week six. The final 2000 word assessment (worth 100% of mark) is submitted at the end of the course on which detailed written feedback is provided. Learning outcomes are embedded within essay questions and tutor feedback
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Articulate a broad understanding of the history of women¿s writing from the 19th century to the present;
  2. Construct, present and evaluate arguments coherently;
  3. Articulate knowledge and understanding of the development of feminist literature and theory, and the changing nature of ideological discourse;
  4. Identify the social, historical, cultural and political contexts that have shaped women¿s writing, and reflect critically on how feminist thought has been expressed through literature;
  5. Evaluate texts through close reading, identifying literary techniques and devices using recognized terminology
Reading List
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Purple Hibiscus [2003] (London: Fourth Estate, 2005).
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale [1985] (London: Vintage, 1996).
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre [1847] (London: Wordsworth Classics, 1992).
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening [1899] (London: Wordsworth Classics, 2015).
Kraus, Chris. I Love Dick (LA: Semiotext(e), 2006).
Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea [1966] (London: Penguin, 2000).
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis [2000] (London: Vintage: 2008).
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple [1982] (W&N, 2014).
Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects [1792] (London: Vintage, 2015).
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own [1929] (London: Penguin, 2002).


Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. We Should All Be Feminists (London: Fourth Estate, 2014).
Appignanesi, Lisa, Susie Orbach, and Rachel Holmes. Fifty Shades of Feminism (London: Virago, 2013).
Bates, Laura. Everyday Sexism (London: Simon & Schuster, 2015).
de Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex (London: Vintage, 1997).
Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique (London: Penguin, 2010).
Gay, Roxanne. Bad Feminist (Corsair, 2014).
Greer, Germaine. The Female Eunuch (London: Harper Perennial, 2006).
hooks, bell. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (Pluto, 2000).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Confidence in discussing 'classic' and challenging texts
Ability to articulate knowledge coherently
Ability to assess secondary material
Course organiserMr Douglas Dougan
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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