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Teaching British Women Writers 1750-1900

Jeanne Moskal and Shannon R. Wooden

The exuberant recovery from obscurity of scores of British women writers has prompted professors and publishers to revisit publication of women’s writings. New curricular inclusion of these sometimes quirky, often passionate writers profoundly disrupts traditional pedagogical assumptions about what constitutes «literature». This book addresses this radically changed educational landscape, offering practical, proven teaching strategies for newly «recovered» writers, both in special-topics courses and in traditional teaching environments. Moreover, it addresses the institutional issues confronting feminist scholars who teach women writers in a variety of settings and the kinds of career-altering effects the decision to teach this material can have on junior and senior scholars alike. Collectively, these essays argue that teaching noncanonical women writers invigorates the curriculum as a whole, not only by introducing the voices of women writers, but by incorporating new genres, by asking new questions about readers’ assumptions and aesthetic values, and by altering the power relations between teacher and student for the better.
Contents: Jeanne Moskal: Introduction: Teaching British Women Writers, 1750-1900 – Shannon R. Wooden: We Can Do It! Putting Women’s Texts to Work – Kristine Swenson: Teaching a «Highly Exceptional» Text: Krupabai Satthianadhan’s Saguna and Narratives of Empire – Rebecca Shapiro: Teaching English Women’s Conversionist Rhetoric – Kathryn T. Flannery: Eliza Haywood: Mainstreaming Women Writers in the Undergraduate Survey – Rick Incorvati: The Poetry of Friendship: Connecting the Histories of Women and Lesbian Sexuality in the Undergraduate Classroom – Elizabeth A. Dolan: A Subversive Urn and a Suicidal Bride: Strategies for Reading Across Aesthetic Difference – James R. Simmons Jr.: Pedagogy and Oppositions: Teaching Non-Canonical British Women Writers at the Technical University – Elisabeth Rose Gruner: Short Fiction by Women in the Victorian Literature Survey – Lawrence Zygmunt: «This Particular Web»: George Eliot, Emily Eden, and Locale in Multiplot Fiction – Jeanne Moskal: Making the Student a Scholar – Patricia L. Hamilton: Beyond «Great Crowds» and «Minor Triumphs»: Teaching Students to Evaluate Critical Pronouncements – Catherine B. Burroughs: Teaching Women Playwrights from the British Romantic Period (1790-1840) – Diane Chambers: Working within a Community of Learners: Teaching Christina Rossetti at a Christian College – E. J. Clery: Canon-Busting: Undergraduate Research into Romantic-Era Women’s Writing in the Corvey Collection – Peaches Henry: Teaching «Recovered» Victorian Female Intellectuals – Nicole Meller Beck/Beth Sutton-Ramspeck: Everybody Learns and Everybody Teaches: Feminist Pedagogy and Co-editing Mary Ward’s Marcella – Gina Luria Walker: «Can Man Be Free/And Woman Be a Slave?» Teaching Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century Women Writers in Intersecting Communities – David E. Latané Jr.: Who Counts? Popularity, Modern Recovery, and the Early Nineteenth-Century Woman Poet – William B. Thesing: Changing Course(s) At Mid- and Late Career: Teaching the Lives/Teaching the Works/Teaching the Teacher.