Contemporary Women's Writing: 1960-Present Day

Module code: EN3102

Module co-ordinator: Dr Emma Parker

In this module you will explore the diversity of contemporary women's writing, challenging traditional ideas about the subject, form, range and quality of writing by women. Authors we will study include Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Pat Barker, Jeanette Winterson and Helen Fielding. Taking both an empirical and theoretical approach to the texts, we will approach literature from a feminist perspective and discuss how gender issues impact on literary studies.

We will consider the relationship between gender and genre, and explore the different ways in which women writers position themselves in relation to an overwhelmingly male literary tradition (rejection, appropriation, revision, subversion), assessing how their literary inheritance shapes their work. 

Topics covered

  • Identity and selfhood
  • Sisterhood
  • Sexuality
  • The body
  • Marriage
  • Motherhood and mother-daughter relationships
  • Madness
  • Masculinity


  • 20 one-hour seminars


  • Two essays, 2,500 words each (50% + 50%)