Feminist Theory

This seminar will examine how we can productively employ current feminist methodologies and conceptual vocabularies to study early modern writers to whom such theoretical concerns and rubrics would have been largely foreign. The course will be grounded on a range of early modern literary authors for whom gendered constructs are of central concern (Sidney, Spenser, Jonson, Wroth, Lanyer, Cavendish, Hutchinson, Marvell, Milton), and we will be particularly focused on the relations among their formal properties, conceptual stances, and historical contexts. We will be equally interested in talking about how we can read these texts through the lens of the evolution of gender studies over the past few decades.  Accordingly, we will look at a selection of critical theory (Marx and Engels, Freud, Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault), second-wave feminism (Beauvoir, Brownmiller, MacKinnon, Rubin, Kristeva, Gilbert and Gubar, among others), and more recent debates about gender, race, power, sexuality, and “women’s studies” in the academy (Sedgwick, Butler, Wiegman, Berlant, Warner, Chow, Brown, for instance).  In addition, we will read some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century tracts on women, sexuality, and domestic relations, and, finally, a range of early modern literary critics who share our interest in gender, literature, and history. 

M 3-6

Sanchez

  • ENGL-538

Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

411 Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 898-8740

Penn Web Login | Site Design by Lucid Digital Designs