Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG355H1F L0101

ENG355H1F   L0101   T11-1, R11 
Indigenous Women Literature
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)
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)
Ipshita Chanda, “Feminist Theory in Perspective.” A Companion to Postcolonial Studies. Ed.
Henry Schwarz and Sangeeta Ray, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2000, 486-507.
Chandra Mohanty, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses.”
Boundary 2 12.3 (1984): 333-358.

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

Method of Evaluation: Short essay, long essay, participation, final test.

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