Revolutionary Women

R1B (Section 1) :  English Composition through French Literature in Translation
Fall 2019
T. Sanders



Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791)

Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796)

Isabelle de Charrière, Three Women (1797)

Sophie Cottin, Claire d’Albe (1799)

Germaine de Staël, Corinne, or Italy (1807)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

Claire de Duras, Ourika (1823)

George Sand, Indiana (1832)


Writing Analytically, 8th edition

Course Description:

In this course, we will read female writers whose works forcefully articulate the concerns of women during a time of revolution. The iconic Storming of the Bastille took place on July 14, 1789, yet suffrage would not extend to French women until 1944. In fact, although women played a decisive role in the fall of the Ancien Régime, the following years saw startling setbacks for women, culminating in the establishment of the Napoleonic Code in 1804, which affirmed and strengthened the legal right of men to control the lives of women. As these events unfolded, a number of remarkable women took to the pen and wrote eloquently to their moment, pleading not only for their own rights, but also for the abolition of slavery. Moreover, they challenged social and literary conventions and intervened thoughtfully in the key political, philosophical, and aesthetic debates that would shape modern Europe. We will explore the literary genres, modes, and movements in which they operated, including the conte philosophique, the sentimental tradition, epistolarity, travel literature, Gothic aesthetics, and Romanticism; and we will reflect critically on their relation to history and politics.

RIB is intended to introduce students to, and develop their skills in‚ research-based literary analysis. To this end, we will work on interpreting literature; producing close readings; developing solid literary arguments; understanding literary and critical theory; conducting and presenting outside research; and analyzing and critiquing theoretical work in class discussions and written assignments.

Additional Information:

Attendance is mandatory the first two weeks of classes.  This includes all enrolled and wait listed students.  Students who do not attend all classes during the first two weeks may be dropped. Students attempting to add this class during weeks 1 and 2 who did not attend the first day will be expected to add themselves to the wait list and attend all class meetings thereafter.  If space permits,  they may be enrolled from the wait list.

French R1B satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition Requirement. Classes are conducted in ENGLISH

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes