Transatlantic Modern Women

This class looks at gender and modernism on both sides of the Atlantic. We will read a generous selection of women modernists, canonical and non-canonical, experimental and realistic, in fiction, film, and poetry from the first half of the 20th century. Our transatlantic focus offers a special opportunity to examine multicultural and cosmopolitan modernisms: many women writers in this period were travelers and immigrants. We will also analyze the complex and often fraught relationships among feminist criticism, feminist theory, and theories of modernism, both in the early 20th century and today. Authors include: Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Mansfield, Una Marson, and Virginia Woolf.

This can be (and has been) a graduate or undergraduate class.

Summer 2013 Books

  1. Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway Harcourt Annotated ISBN 0156030357
  2. Gertrude Stein, Writings 1903-1932 Library of America ISBN 9781883011406
  3. Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories Norton Critical ISBN 0393925331
  4. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God Harper ISBN 0061120065
  5. Muriel Rukeyser, Savage Coast Feminist Press 155861820
  6. Nella Larsen, Quicksand in The Complete Fiction Anchor ISBN 0385721005
  7. Una Marson, Selected Poems Peepal Tree ISBN 978185231682
  8. Betty Miller, Farewell Leicester Square Persephone Books ISBN 978190315503
  9. Dorothy Arzner, Dance Girl, Dance! (film)

Summer 2013 secondary readings

Here's the preliminary list of secondary reading for Summer 2013. This is an M.A.-level intensive 5-week class & several undergraduates are enrolled. I want a mix of feminist theory (classic & brand new) and recent feminist practical criticism & am aiming for two great articles per class. As a crowd-sourcing experiment, I'd love to hear your suggestions for alternative readings, either to supplant or supplement what's here.

for Introduction and Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

  • Doan, Laura, “’We Cannot Use That Word’: On the Habits of Naming, Name Calling, and Self-Naming.” Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality, and Women’s Experience of Modern War. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2013. 134-163.
  • DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. “For the Etruscans.” 1979. New York: Routledge, 1990. 1-19.
  • Felski, Rita. “Modernity and Feminism.” The Gender of Modernity. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1995.
  • Friedman, Susan Stanford. “Planetarity: Musing Modernist Studies.” Modernism/modernity. 17:3 (September 2013) 471-499.

for Gertrude Stein, Writings 1903-1932 not so happy with this week

  • Appadurai, Arjun, “Here and Now.” Modernity at Large. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. 1-27.
  • Grosz, Elizabeth. Becoming Undone. which chapter?
  • Ahmed, Sara. from Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others.

for Katherine Mansfield, Selected Stories

  • Rosner, Victoria. “Studies.” Modernism and the Architecture of Private Life. New York: Columbia UP, 2005. 91-126.
  • Young, Iris Marion. “Throwing Like a Girl”: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment, Motility, and Spatiality.” 1980. On Female Body Experience: “Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005. 27-45.
  • McDonnell, Jenny. “’Wanted, a New Word’: Katherine Mansfield and the Athenaeum.Modernism/modernity. 16;4 (November 2009) 727-42.
  • Majumdar, Saikat. Katherine Mansfield and the fragility of pākehā boredom.” Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies 55.1 (Spring 2009), 119-141.

for Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Johnson, Barbara. “Thresholds of Difference: Structures of Address in Zora Neale Hurston.” Critical Inquiry. 12.1 (Autumn 1985). 278-89.
  • Stuelke, Patricia. “Finding Haiti, Finding History in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.Modernism/modernity. 19.4 (November 2012) 755-774.

for Muriel Rukeyser, Savage Coast; selected poems

  • Berman, Jessica, “Commitment and the Scene of War: Max Aub and Spanish Civil War Writing.” Modernist Commitments: Ethics, Politics, and Transnational Modernism. New York: Columbia UP, 2011. 184-236.
  • Kennedy-Epstein, Rowena. “’Her Symbol Was Civil War’: Recovering Muriel Rukeyser’s ‘Lost’ Spanish Civil War Novel.” Mfs: Modern Fiction Studies. Forthcoming June 2013.
  • Rogers, Gayle. “Introduction: The Problem of Spain and the Cultural Map of Europe.” Modernism and the New Spain: Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012. 3-28.

for Nella Larsen, Quicksand

  • Doyle, Laura. “Queering Freedom’s Theft in Nella Larsen.” Freedom’s Emprie: Race and the Rise of the Novel in Atlantic Modernity, 1640-1940. Durham: Duke UP 2008. 393-412.
  • Ngai, Sianne. “irritation.” Ugly Feelings. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2005. 174-208.

for Una Marson, Selected Poems

  • DeCerteau, Michel. “Walking in the City.” The Practice of Everyday Life. 1980. Trans. Steven Rendall. Berkeley: U of California P, 1984. 91-110.
  • Snaith, Anna. “’Little Brown Girl’ in a ‘White, White City’: Una Marson and London.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. 27.1 (Spring 2008) 93-114.

for Betty Miller, Farewell Leicester Square

  • Linett, Maren. “Modernism’s Jews, Jewish Modernisms.” Modern Fiction Studies. 51.2 (Summer 2005). 249-256.
  • Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen. 16.3 (Autumn 1975) 6-18.

for Dorothy Arzner, Dance, Girl, Dance! (film)

  • Zambreno, Kate. from Heroines. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2012. 13-45.
  • Ngai, Sianne. “The Zany Science.” Our Aesthetic Categories. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2012.

Name *
I'd love your suggestions for articles--either theory or practical criticism--that might fit on this syllabus.