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Module

SEL3373 : Women of Virtue and Women of Pleasure: Sensibility in the Age of Reason

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Laura Kirkley
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The aim of this module is to analyse how literary constructions of women of virtue and women of pleasure developed in the course of the long eighteenth century. Students will develop knowledge of a range of canonical and non-canonical texts, including English translations of important French texts from the period. We will focus particularly on the transnational rise of the literature and culture of Sensibility, examining how sentimental discourses were invoked to depict women both as arbiters of moral virtue and creatures of excessive sensuality.

Students will gain a thorough knowledge of the historical and cultural contexts in which literary texts were written, combining this knowledge with some gender and feminist theory to examine cultural shifts in attitudes to female desire and definitions of female virtue. We will connect these historical and cultural changes with formal and generic developments in the literature of the period, paying particular attention to the rise of the novel and of (auto)biographical and autofictional writing. The module will culminate in an analysis of early feminist efforts to politicise the discourse of Sensibility.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus comprises a range of genres, including poetry, novels, and conduct literature. Due to the transnational focus of the module, some of the texts are English translations of eighteenth-century French texts.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable