We'll study prose works - ranging from previously neglected texts such as Hope Leslie to familiar texts such as Little Women - by American women of the nineteenth century. We'll look at some fundamental issues that creative women have faced during this time: the social construction of womanhood, the urgent moral and political issues of the day, the emergence of an American literary culture, and how each writer situated herself in relation to the power of the written word. We'll be looking at how literature of this period both reflects and shapes the lives of middle-class women, affluent women, women of color, immigrant women, working women, married women, single women, girls embarking on womanhood and older women coming to terms with their life choices and social constraints. (Not offered 2019-20).
Prerequisite: English 221 or 250 or consent of instructor.