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Optional Course for PG I and PG II

Course Coordinator: CN
An acquaintance with the diversity of feminist theories is indispensable for the reading of literature from a feminist
perspective. This course is designed to be an overview of feminist thought through its distinct historical phases, i.e., firstwave, second-wave, third-wave and post-feminist, as well as a selective reading of some of the representative texts of
different schools of feminism like Liberal, Radical, Marxist/materialist, Lesbian, Black feminism/Womanism, Third
world/Postcolonial feminism, Postmodern feminism/postfeminism, Ecofeminism and Indian feminism. Not all the
critical articles and texts listed below will be studied every year.
Weeks 1-2: First, Second and Third Wave Feminisms
Excerpts from A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf (First Wave), The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir and Sexual
Politics by Kate Millet (Second Wave), Sexual/Textual Politics by Toril Moi (Third Wave), Women, Writing and
Language: Making the Silences Speak by Gill Frith (An application of different feminist theories to Jane Eyre)
Text: Doris Lessings short story To Room Nineteen
Weeks 3-5: Liberal and Radical feminisms
a) Reading/writing women:
Elaine Showalter, Toward a feminist poetics and Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness, Sandra Gilbert and Susan
Gubar, Inflection in the sentence: the woman writer and the anxiety of authorship, Rosalind Coward, Are Womens
Novels Feminist Novels?, Jonathan Culler Reading as a Woman, Mary Jacobus, Reading Woman (Reading)
Texts: H Rider Haggards She and Marie Corellis Ziska
b) Gender and genre: Romance
Lillian S. Robinson Feminist Challenges to the Literary Canon, The Readers and Their Romances, Leslie Rabine,
Romance in the Age of Electronics, Harlequin Enterprises.
Text: Rebecca/ Gone With the Wind
c) The pornography debate
Susan Sontag, The Pornographic Imagination, Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman (excerpts), Andrea Dworkin,
Pornography Happens to Women
Texts: Selected stories from The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
d) Feminist maternalism and myth criticism:
Excerpts from Mary Dalys After the Death of God the Father, Adrienne Richs Of Woman Born, Alicia Ostriker, The
Thieves of Language: Women Poets and Revisionist Mythmaking
Texts: Joanna Russ, The Female Man and selected poems by Adrienne Rich
Weeks 6-7: Marxist and Materialist Feminisms
Excerpts from The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone and Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis, Michele
Barrett, Womens Oppression and the Family, Teresa Ebert, (Untimely) Critiques for a Red Feminism/Martha E.
Gimenez, Marxist Feminism/Materialist Feminism
Texts: Eleanor Marx-Aveling, A Dolls House Repaired and Alexandra Kollontai: Sisters, The Loves of Three
Generations, Communism and the Family
Weeks 10-12: Black Feminism and Third World/ Post Colonial Feminism
Excerpts from In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker, Barbara Smith, Toward a Black
Feminist Criticism, Marianne Hirsch, The Mother-Daughter Plot
Texts: Alice Walker, The Colour Purple and Toni Morrison, Sula/Beloved
Three Womens Texts and a Critique of Imperialism by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Under Western Eyes: Feminist
Scholarship and Colonial Discourses by Chandra Talpade Mohanty
Texts: The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Mahasweta Devis Draupadi
Week 13: Ecofeminism (Articles by Karen Warren, Vandana Shiva and others)
Texts: Margaret Atwoods Surfacing and poems of Judith Wright
Week 14: Postmodern feminism/postfeminism (Articles to be specified later)
Helen Fielding, Bridget Joness Diary
Weeks 15-16: Indian feminism:
Excerpts from Ghulam Murshids The Reluctant Debutante and Partha Chatterjees The Nation and its Fragments, and
other articles from Indian Feminism ed. Maitreyee Chaudhuri and Women and Social Reform ed. Sumit and Tanika Sarkar
Texts: Rabindranath Tagore, The Home and the World and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Sultanas Dream