Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Littérature des femmes/ Women's Literature

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit familiarizes students with the works of a number of female authors such as George Sand, Claire de Duras, Mme de Genlis and Rachilde. It focuses on the literary expression of gender issues, but also situates these works in relation to the historical and literary context of the 19th century. These female authors engage with predominant literary modes and fashions in original ways in order to express their ideological concerns.

Study-unit Aims:

- To familiarise students with key literary movements in 19th century France;
- To train students in the use of gender-based approaches to literature;
- To familiarise students with the tumultuous historical context of 'the long 19th century';
- To train students in the literary analysis of a variety of 19th c. literary texts.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- describe the sociohistorical context of the 19th century, the Code Napoléon and its impact on the female condition;
- identify and understand the key themes and stylistic features of selected works by Madame de Genlis, Claire de Duras, George Sand and Rachilde;
- comprehend these works in relation to key literary movements of the time.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- analyse a number of literary works and relate them to 19th c. literary movements;
- relate a number of literary works to the ideological issues of the time relating to race, history and the female condition;
- draw out the specific articulation of gender issues in selected works.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts:

- Madame de Genlis, La Femme Auteur (Paris: Gallimard, 2007).
- Claire de Duras, Ourika, (Paris: Gallimard, 2010).
- George Sand, Indiana (Paris: Gallimard, 1981); La Marquise (text available online).
- George Sand, Mauprat (Paris: Gallimard, 1981).
- Rachilde, La Marquise de Sade (Paris: Gallimard, 1996).

Supplementary readings:

- Christine Planté, La petite sœur de Balzac. Essai sur la femme auteur, Lyon, Presses universitaires de Lyon, 2015.
- La femme auteur, Le Magasin du XIXe siècle, n. 1 (2011).


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.