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German Women's Writing (Level 6)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Tutor: Anna Richards
  • Prerequisites: German 3 or equivalent language skills

Module description

Thousands of plays, novels and works of poetry have been published by German women writers in the last 250 years, but few of them are included on traditional university syllabi. In this module we will study works by women from the late eighteenth century - the period when women writers first ‘arrived’ on the literary scene - to the twenty-first century. In doing so we shall ask whether it is possible to identify a specifically female literary tradition - whether women authors favour themes or ways of writing different from those found in works by men. It will also be important to situate women’s writing in the context of women’s history. When women write about love and marriage, for example, to what extent are their portrayals in keeping with the norms of their age? What do they have to say about the gender prescriptions of their time? In what ways do women writers comment on historical events, such as the division and reunification of Germany? As well as a historical and a genealogical [literary historical] method, the course will draw on feminist literary theory to illuminate our study of individual texts.