Course code:



MA - Intermediate/Advanced

Class size limit:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

This tutorial selects from among the most interesting, diverse, and well-written of contemporary international women’s novels 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 1967: Sawako Ariyoshi’s The Doctor’s Wife. After Ariyoshi, we will read from quite varied authors published within the last forty years: Buchi Emecheta, Clarice Lispector, Nawal El Saadawi, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Hanan al-Shaykh, Jeannette Winterson, Rose Tremain, Nora Okja Keller, Fadia Faqir, and Yvonne Vera. We will also read some classic and contemporary feminist literary theory to gain a sense of how feminist scholars approach women’s novels and our questions. Each student will facilitate at least one class discussion. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and discussion leading and a final project of some sort, to be developed and negotiated in light of the student’s interests. The project may include several shorter works, outside research and presentation, or be a longer work—as long as it is roughly equivalent to a 12-15 page exquisitely articulated piece of analytic or creative writing, translation, presentation, or performance.


A previous literature course and permission of the instructor.

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