English 278a A. Solomon
TTH 1-2:30 HU III


Contemporary Women Writers: I/She /We

In this course we will read a wide-ranging selection of contemporary works by women writers which examine tensions and harmonies between individuals and groups. The authors we will study treat and critique the idea that “women’s stories” value relationships and community above individual identity.  Our discussions will explore not only how these issues shape character, plot and other aspects of thematic development, but will also consider the self-fashioning of women writers who address or sometimes reject the “community” of audience. Another relationship we will explore is that between content and form. The reading in this course includes not only traditional poetry, narrative and drama, but hybrid shapes which might expand the possibilities of what we think of as women’s writing. The requirements for this course include a series of informal response papers, three formal essays and a midterm.

Fae Myenne, Ng Bone
Lorrie Moore, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital?
Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog/Underdog
Toni Morrison, Sula
Lynda Barry, Cruddy
Adrienne Kennedy, People Who Led to My Plays
June Jordan, Soldier: a Poet’s Childhood
Claudia Rankine, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric
Mary Gaitskill, Two Girls, Fat and Thin

*This course fulfills the English Department’s Introductory Requirement and is cross listed with Africana Studies.