This seminar course takes as its starting assumptions that: (1) women's lives are complex, valuable and interesting, and (2) writers across genres as well as artists in all fields can benefit from closely and courageously imagining, exploring, and textualizing them. Asking what it might mean to be a 'difficult' woman (and what might be 'difficult' about simply being a 'woman') we will read a number of women writers who are considered 'challenging' in various ways, moving from their work to for our own explorations of women we know, women we imagine, and of ourselves in relation to the idea and category 'women,' which is itself complex, and shifting. In-class writing will be aimed at helping students to hone their own voice and identify and address their own interests and concerns with intention and attentiveness; while you will be sharing your work in small groups, peer critique will not be our central mode. Each week, a student will introduce our joint reading. In the second half of the semester, each student will introduce us class to a woman writer/artist/scholar who is not on the syllabus. Our goals are: (1) to develop a growing and increasingly robust bibliography of 'difficult,' inspiring and courageous women writers and makers; (2) for each student to produce a rich personal fund of writing about women; and (3) reflect on what a feminist writing practice might look like for each of us.
- Teacher: Nathalie Arnold