Women and Literature: The Female, the Global, the Technological

Course Number: ENGL 114GT
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 114AA-ZZ
Quarter: Summer A 2012
Day(s): MTWR
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Location: SH 1430

Mother | Daughter | Virgin | Slut | Femme Fatale | Starlet | Celebrity | Spectacle | Sex Symbol | Voyeur | Computer | Program | Cyborg

This course examines a number of literary and cinematic texts to discuss the questions of gender, genre, form, representation, and production in a global networked context.

Questions that we will attempt to answer include: What happens when women, often the object of representation, reappropriate “the gaze,” and actively produce their own field of vision? How have femininity and womanhood traditionally has been defined? How are women and feminist authors destabilizing these established notions through their work? What genres and media forms have been utilized in mobilizing feminist praxis and why? How are class, race, and nation inflected upon the representation and production of femininity? How has the technological, informational, and networked world changed or complicated the ways in which the female is represented (or not)?

We will discuss the cultural production of gender by turning to recent and contemporary texts from various geographic and national sites. Theoretically, this class will offer an introduction to feminist theory, network and information theory, and theories of popular culture. There will be emphasis placed upon cyborg feminisms, transnational and third world feminisms, and the globalization of culture. Literature covered in this course will cover a range of genres and forms, including contemporary magical realism, epistolary narrative, speculative fiction, “hard” science fiction, and popular romance. Historically, we’ll start with the proto-feminist issues introduced in the 19th century and move forward in time to examine females and technology within cultural production: from the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, to the female computers of WWII, to the replicants of 1980s cyberpunk, to the call-center operators of today.

*Required Texts*

Angela Carter, Love
Ana Castillo, The Mixquihuala Letters
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Linda Nagata, The Bohr Maker
Reader from AS, includes stories and excerpts from James Tiptree, Jr., Chandra Mohanty, Chela Sandoval, Donna Haraway, Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, Simone De Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, Monique Witting, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and others

*Audio Visual*
Desk Set (1957)
Blade Runner (1982)
I Have Found It (2000)

*Online Texts* are linked from the course website (coming soon)