Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Typically offered:

Every other year

This course selects from among the most interesting, diverse, and well-written of contemporary women’s fiction, to focus on questions of women’s writing (and how/whether it can be treated as a literary and formal category), gender identity and women’s issues, and the tension between sameness and difference among women’s experiences, and narrations of women’s experience, around the world.

The course begins by examining a relatively unknown yet rather extraordinary novel from earlier in the twentieth century: Sawako Ariyoshi’s The Doctor’s Wife (1967).

After these, we read from truly contemporary authors and quite varied authors published within the last twenty years, like Buchi Emecheta, Gloria Naylor, Ursula Hegi, Nawal El Saadawi, Sue Grafton, Graciela Limon, Tsitsi Dargarembga, Barara Yoshimoto, Dorothy Allison, Rose Tremain, Julia Alvarez, Leslie Feinberg, April Sinclair, and Achy Obejas.

Students each choose an additional author to study and read a novel outside of class. An extensive list of authors is included in the syllabus. Evaluation be based on class participation, either two short papers or one long paper on works discussed in class, a presentation to the class of the outside novel, and a final evaluation essay.


A previous literature course and signature of the instructor.

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