Tu/W/Th 03:00-05:30 210 Dwinelle Instructor: Jordan Greenwald
This course will examine a long legacy of cultural fascination with domestic space and its iconic caretaker, the housewife. We will discuss literary texts and films that feature housewives as their protagonists, from Milton to Virginia Woolf to the present. Our task will be twofold: we will work to appreciate, on the one hand, how the texts engage with a longstanding (and ongoing) feminist critique of the tethering of women to domestic labor; on the other hand, we will try to understand why the housewife endures as a key aspect of the fantasy of “the good life.” What can literary representations of housewives tell us about the aspirations and assumptions surrounding our everyday lives – in the past and in the present?
This is a writing-intensive course, and we will explore all of these issues as a means of refining writing skills. Students will write and re-write a number of essays, and writing “workshops” will occur on a weekly basis. The final portion of the course will be spent on developing research skills, and will culminate in a research paper on one of the texts we have studied.
Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
Required Film Screenings:
Douglas Sirk, Imitation of Life
Todd Haynes, Safe
Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Additional readings in course reader by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, John Milton, Hannah Arendt, Emily Dickinson, Jennifer O’Grady, and more.
Course Catalog Number: 28210