Women, Writing, Revolution

Module code: EN3153

Module co-ordinator: to be confirmed

From the raucous pamphlet wars and cartoons of the 1790s to the literary introspection of novels by Mary Hays and poems by Charlotte Smith, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Anna Letitia Barbauld, in this module you will uncover different forms of social, political and literary change and debate at the turn of the 19th century with a particular emphasis on women writers. How are women's voices integral to debates about liberty and rights across the 18th and early 19th centuries? Tackling numerous forms and genres, we will explore questions about aesthetic experience, gender and the social and political engagement of the writer.

We will begin by addressing pre-Revolutionary 18th century writing by women before assessing the lasting influence of Revolutionary ideals and frustrations and the fierce struggles for women's rights, abolition and animal rights. Looking at neglected authors such as Leicester abolitionist and campaigner Susannah Watts, as well as key texts by Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft, you will explore the exciting, vibrant, sometimes violent debates of this period. Using the latest research into women's writing and sociable networks of male and female writers, we will use a range of critical approaches to challenge traditional perceptions of gender and period boundaries.




  • Essay, 5,000 words (100%)