Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG355H1F   L0101   T11-1, R11 
Indigenous Women Literature
Instructor: Prof. C. Suzack
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, Room 913


Brief Description of Course: One of the preoccupations of late 20th century feminism has been the cultural construction of gender. Feminist literary theorists and historians have examined the reproduction, dissemination, and maintenance of a range of representations and stereotypes of womanhood from the late 19th to the late 20th century from an increasingly global perspective. In this course, we will explore the ideological work of gender in literary representations and assess what these representations tell us about the conditions of Indigenous women’s lives, their struggles toward political emancipation, and their efforts to construct a feminist platform that reflects the material realities of their lived experiences. Beginning with a classic text of feminist individualism, we will survey writing by women from a comparative, global perspective and interrogate the ways in which this writing participates in broader feminist concerns about constructions of race, womanhood, and sexuality. Some of the issues we will discuss include assessing memory and narrative as political tools of self-representation and redress, and the negotiation of identity in the complex intersections of race, class, and gender identity.

Required Reading:
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Broadview) (1847)
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (Penguin) (1966)
Erna Brodber, Myal (New Beacon) (1988)
Paule Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones (Feminist Press) (1959)
Tsitsi Dangaremba, Nervous Conditions (Seal) (1988)
Kerri Hulme, The Bone People (Penguin) (1986)
Linda Hogan, Solar Storms (Scribner) (1997)
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (Vintage) (1998)

First Three Authors/Texts: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea; Erna Brodber, Myal.

Method of Evaluation: Essays, in-class tests, participation, attendance

Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 300 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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