Ghosts, Beasts, and Murderers: Women Writing History
What is it about the extremes –
ghosts and spirits, beasts both human and other, murderers of all stripes –
that lures both writers and readers to explore their nature decades or even
centuries after they have passed into history? Our course will explore the
relationship between contemporary women authors and the historical periods and
phenomena they write about, asking why it is important for them to have a sense
of the past and how they situate us in time and place. What are the pros and
cons of the dramatized version over the “real” one? How accurate is it? How
beastly? Which ghosts are brought back to life and which continue to be left
out – even murdered?
is an introductory level literature course that is writing intensive. Class
requirements include: participation in class discussion; quizzes on assigned
texts; response papers on readings and discussions; individual and/or group
presentations on each book; two formal 4-5 page essays; a midterm; a final
Required reading: We will read a variety of world
literature, as follows. Sarah Waters AFFINITY; Tara Ison A CHILD OUT OF
ALCATRAZ; Sarah Dunant THE BIRTH OF VENUS; Aminatta Forna ANCESTOR STONES;
Laura Restrepo ISLE OF PASSION; Toni Morrison BELOVED.
All books are
available at Revolution Books.