Sex and Sensibility: Women, Writing, Revolution

Module code: EN3208

Just what else was going on around the time Austen was writing her first novels? This module looks beyond the few women authors we've heard of to discover a time of revolution, love, and argument. We’ll look at Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, begun in the 1790s, alongside forgotten contemporaries like Mary Hays, whose novel Memoirs of Emma Courtney boldly explores female sensuality, using her own letters of unrequited love, or Eliza Fenwick's Gothic novel of pregnancy and ruin, Secresy. These are novels of love, despair and anger. They contain powerful indictments of the position of women and arguments for equality. So why have they been forgotten? We'll try to understand the larger context of women’s rights and women’s writing. Practical examples of editing as well as a longer research paper will help you hone skills useful for publishing/editing or postgraduate studies.

Learning

  • 10 hours of seminars
  • 140 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Portfolio including presentation, 500 words (15%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (85%)