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Fall 2013
NLIT 7463
Wednesday from 6-7:50
Room A-701
Gina Luria Walker
Office Hours: Thursday 4-5 and by appointment
Office: A-919

Female biography, novels, memoirs: are women’s truths in their “fictions”?

Preliminary Syllabus 8/27/13

This course draws on recent challenges to received ideas about the historical relation between gender and genre. We examine the texts of women that reveal the variety of genres women deployed in their published and unpublished writing in the Early Modern world and beyond. We consider the effects of cultural sanctions against women’s public utterances, and the perpetuation of “female education” that limited their access to canonical works. We read “female biographies” by and about earlier women to discern how these life stories contrast with the Vitas of Great Men to constitute an incipient women’s history. We track the effects of the founding of the British Postal Service in 1660, and the wave of female “epistolary adventures” as women drew on their experiences to refashion the male novel of letters. We trace the permeable boundaries between the “truths” of French and British women’s self-writing. We examine the first cohort of “professionalized” English women writers as they achieve market success that leads to hybrid “female fiction” by Frances Burney and Ann Radcliffe.  The French Revolution in 1789 polarizes a “women’s war,” paralleling global crisis, pitting the “Unsex’d” Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Hays, and others against conservative Hannah More. We encounter the “Great Forgetting” of a female literary tradition in the Nineteenth Century and after, and the efforts of contemporary feminist scholars to remember and remind us. We conclude with conversation about the uses of female fiction and reality with contemporary women writers.


 Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Opening lecture, mechanics of course

Read Clifford Siskind, “Engendering Disciplinarity,” The Work of Writing: Literature and Social Change in Britain, 1700-1830 (Johns Hopkins, 1999) PDF on blackboard


Wednesday, September 4 No class Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 11 
Plutarch of Chaeronea in Boeotia (ca. 45–120 CE) was a Platonist philosopher, best known to the general public as author of his “Parallel Lives” of paired Greek and Roman statesmen and military leaders. He was a voluminous writer, author also of a collection of “Moralia” or “Ethical Essays,” mostly in dialogue format, many of them devoted to philosophical topics, not at all limited to ethics.

Antoinette Bourignon


Mirjam de Baar

Wednesday, September 18 
Guest Lecture, Dr. Fiore Sireci

Sarah Fielding

Wednesday, September 25 Isabelle de CharriereLetters of Mistress Henley Published by Her Friend

Wednesday, October 2 Fanny BurneyA Known ScribblerEvenlina
file:///C:/Users/User/Music/Desktop/Emily%20Allen%20-%20Staging%20Identity%20%20Frances%20Burney%27s%20Allegory%20of%20Genre%20-%20Eighteenth-Century%20Studies%2031%204.htm [Blackboard]

Wednesday, October 9 Fanny BurneyA Known Scribbler, The Witlings

Ann Radcliffe

Wednesday, October 16: Mary Hays, Memoirs of Emma Courtney

Midterm writing

Wednesday October 23 MaryWollstonecraft,  Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, ed. Ingrid Horrocks

Wednesday, October 30 Mary WollstonecraftLettersGuest Lecture, Ingrid Horrocks online

Wednesday, November 6 Mary HaysFemale Biography

Wednesday, November 13 Jane AustenHistory of England

Wednesday, November 20 Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

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Wednesday, November 27, NO CLASS

Wednesday, December 4 Contemporary  memoirist, Honor Moore

Wednesday, December 11 Student Presentations

Monday, December 16 Student Presentations

Contemporaneous Reviews

Independent Projects: Every student will be required to produce a “female biography” of one figure relevant to our inquiry and historical period.

Learning Outcomes

By the successful completion of this course, students will

1. Know the background of “women’s conditional access to knowledge” (Le Doeuff) and the “engendering [of] disciplinarity” (Siskind)

2. Appreciate the historical connections between gender and genre

3. Explicate early modern texts

4. Produce a “female biography” that draws on these outcomes


Assessable Tasks

Weekly reading and discussing required texts, including those on blackboard

Bi-weekly responses on blackboard

Responsibility to lead one week’s class discussion

Production of a “female biography” of 10-15 pages by December 16, 2013


Final Grade Calculation

Participation: 30%

Attendance 10%

Bi-weekly responses on blackboard 25%

Independent Project: presentation to class and paper 35%

TOTAL 100%


Required Reading

Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. 6th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.)


● Responsibility

Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late papers, failure to complete the readings

assigned for class discussion, and lack of preparedness for in-class discussions and presentations will jeopardize

your successful completion of this course.

● Participation

Class participation is an essential part of class and includes: keeping up with reading, contributing meaningfully

to class discussions, active participation in group work, and coming to class regularly and on time.

● Attendance

Faculty members may fail any student who is absent for a significant portion of class time. A significant portion

of class time is defined as three absences for classes that meet once per week and four absences for classes that

meet two or more times per week. During intensive summer sessions a significant portion of class time is defined

as two absences. Lateness or early departure from class may also translate into one full absence.

● Blackboard

Use of Blackboard may be an important resource for this class. Students should check it for announcements before

coming to class each week.

● Delays

In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start,

you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, a sign will

be posted at the classroom indicating your assignment for the next class meeting.

● Academic Integrity

This is the university’s Statement on Academic Integrity: “Plagiarism and cheating of any kind in the course of

academic work will not be tolerated. Academic honesty includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate

and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research

findings or any aspect of the work of others (including that of instructors and other students). These standards

of academic honesty and citation of sources apply to all forms of academic work (examinations, essays, theses,

computer work, art and design work, oral presentations, and other projects).”

It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures specific to their discipline for correctly and appropriately

differentiating their own work from that of others. Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious

consequences, including (but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure

of the course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or dismissal from the


Every student at Parsons signs an Academic Integrity Statement as a part of the registration process. Thus, you

are held responsible for being familiar with, understanding, adhering to and upholding the spirit and standards of

academic integrity as set forth by the Parsons Student Handbook.

Guidelines for Written Assignments

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or ideas in any academic work using books, journals, internet

postings, or other student papers without proper acknowledgment. For further information on proper acknowledgment

and plagiarism, including expectations for paraphrasing source material and proper forms of citation in

research and writing, students should consult the Chicago Manual of Style (cf. Turabian, 6th edition). The University

Writing Center also provides useful on-line resources to help students understand and avoid plagiarism
























Usagi: Hufflepuff
Ami: Ravenclaw
Rei: Slytherin
Makoto: Gryffindor
Minako: Slytherin
Haruka: Hufflepuff
Michiru: Ravenclaw
Setsuna: Professor
Hotaru: Ravenclaw
Chibiusa: Gryffindor

Seiya: Gryffindor
Yaten: Slytherin
Taiki: Ravenclaw


01 — bommiie, rinoa
02 — imadokisan, ivy, helix
03 — lou
04 —
05 — bommiie, dolgolaepop, osanity
06 — bommiie
07 — yangdizzy, taliana
08 — cassidy, helix
09 — aceminjung
10 —

First and Last Name: Ackley Goddard

Bloodline: Pure
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Blue
General Build: Average
Height: Average

Birthplace: Hempsted, Gloucester, England
Birthday: June 17th, Gemini
Brief Family History: Ackley is the only child of Cynric and Demelza Goddard. The pair rarely had time to be proper parents, for Cynric ran an exclusive potion business for high profile clients and Demelza worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, keeping the magical scourge of the planet locked up, as she used to say. Highly work-orientated, they placed their jobs above their son, ultimately teaching him that ambition and success were far more important than anything else in the world. With that mentality in mind, Ackley grew up thinking only that he had to be the best. At Hogwarts, he was sorted into Slytherin just like his parents and surrounded himself with other intelligent and successful children. It was here that he shined academically, gaining the much wanted approval by Professor Slughorn (aided by the fact that he had influential parents) and eventually becoming prefect and then head boy in his time. 

Graduating Hogwarts with high honours, Ackley was completely set up for success. He entered into the ministry with high recommendations and began to work in the Department of Magical Education with other potioneers. His parents thought him successful, he was rising in the ranks, and had the respect of his coworkers. Ackley thought he had it all and that he could certainly want nothing more. Of course, then the wizarding world fell a part and Voldemort and his followers wreaked havoc on them all. Ackley’s parents were staunch supporters of the Dark Lord, but naturally too coward to join the actual cause. Ackley didn’t have much of an opinion either way and so he kept quiet and followed directions. Still, after the war, he simply couldn’t go back to the way he had once lived his life. The mentality of being the best had been tainted by the ‘magic is might’ mantra. So Ackley cut himself off and left England, hoping to find some sort of purpose for himself.

For the next several years, Ackley traveled the world, studying new plant life and experimenting with potions. He studied with other great potion masters around the world, learning their craft and different approach to the magical art. He learned to be on his own and only depend upon himself. His mother had died in the war and his father had retired and chose to spend his remaining years secluded within his home. Of course, Ackley did pop back into his homeland once in awhile just to check up on his father, but for the most part, he remained unattached to any one or any place. It was when he was traveling through the thick of the amazon that he received an offer of employment from Hogwarts. Ackley surely thought it had to be a mistake. There were far more capable people out there. Someone more experienced. But after a bit of thought and knowing that it was Professor Slughorn who had recommended him, Ackley packed up his things and decided to return.

Strengths (Including Personality and Academic): Ackley has learned to be patient over the years. Having once been an insufferable child himself, he now better understands other people, especially children, which would certainly help him in being a good professor. He’s a very hands-on person, which has helped him in his field of study. He’s willing to dig into the dirt or into the belly of any beast to retrieve his own ingredients. This approach also affects his teaching, because he’s far more comfortable working one-on-one with students rather than just lecture to a whole class. Ultimately, this would help him form stronger relationships with his students. Academically, Ackley has of course always been strong at Potions. He also did rather well in Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.
Weaknesses (Including Personality and Academic): Ackley is far more selfish than people realise. Sure he’s friendly and cares for other people, but he still has the Slytherin mentality of always thinking about how something or someone can benefit him. So when teaching, he’s of course happy to help those who want it, but won’t even give the time of day to students who clearly don’t put any effort into their work. He’s not someone who’ll waste his precious time and effort on those who don’t deserve it. And of course after living such a nomadic lifestyle for awhile, Ackley has gained sort of a loose approach to life and people. He’s ended up shying away from being authoritative and getting into conflicts. He’s more of an ‘ignore the problem’ sort of guy.
What House You Feel Your Character Belongs In and Why: Ackley was a Slytherin his day. He’s ambitious and cunning and always had an air of self-preservation. These qualities are still in him now, but just toned down and balanced out with other characteristics he’s gained from maturing.