ENGL BC3927 Senior Seminar: "a d—d mob of scribbling women": Nineteenth-century American Women Writers. 4 points.
(Formerly ENGL BC3997.06; this course has been renumbered but has not changed in content.) In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne complained that American publishing was "wholly given over to a d--d mob of scribbling women," and that he could not hope to compete with women writers for popularity or sales. Yet Hawthorne's texts were canonized as American classics, while texts by nineteenth-century women writers were largely ignored by the academy until late in the twentieth century. This course considers a variety of texts by nineteenth-century American women, including novels, short fiction, poetry, and journalism. We'll consider women's writing and women's reading through a variety of lenses, including domesticity and women's sphere, political action and suffrage, slavery and abolition, the economics of writing and publishing, sentimentality and anger, and canon formation and literary merit. Authors include Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan Warner, Fanny Fern, Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Nellie Bly, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.