Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Every other year

This is an intermediate/advanced course in which students will explore in depth the connections between and among modern and cross-cultural women’s novels, primarily those written in the now very multi-cultural United States.

We will strive to make connections between texts so as to better understand the nature of and any patterns or themes that shape women’s and cross-cultural fictional narration. Historical perspective, cultural differences, and gender roles will all be taken into consideration as we analyze relatively recent women’s fiction by such authors such as Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gloria Naylor, Linda Hogan, Julie Shikeguni, Jamaica Kincaid, Nora Okja Keller, Cristina Garcia, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Sigrid Nunez.

Participants will read carefully, prepare and ask questions of each other, write frequent response papers, and carry out a sustained independent project to be presented to the group. The outside project will focus on one or more additional texts that may be fictional, theoretical, cultural, or historic.

The group presentation will put outside texts into broad cultural and historical perspectives and/or discuss them in terms of trends in women’s literature, immigrant literature, women’s literature of the United States, multicultural narratives, or some other course theme. Selection of the outside text will give participants the opportunity to fill in perceived gaps in their reading or explore a particular narrative or cultural form in depth. The reading load for this course is relatively heavy. Evaluation will focus on preparation, participation, insight, critical thinking, response papers, and the outside project—both its oral presentation and development in an appropriate form (visual, narrative, analytic, curricular, etc.).


A previous literature course and permission of the instructor; Contemporary Women’s Novels experience recommended.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.