LIT218 The 'Woman Question' in Nineteenth-Century England and America (8)

An introduction to seminal nineteenth-century English and American literary and expository writing about the nature, role and rights of women.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2019.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Cannot be taken with LIT312 The 'Woman Question' in Nineteenth Century England and America

Assumed Knowledge
LIT1%% or CLT2%%

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • improve their skills in research techniques and in literary interpretation and analysis
  • demonstrate an historical understanding of the foundations of modern liberal feminist thought and of the major arguments against feminism
  • read key feminist and antifeminist literary texts in an appropriate philosophical and cultural context.


This subject will cover the following topics:

.a reading of Wollstonecraft's The Vindication of the Rights of Woman (published 1792) in order to isolate both the radical and conservative elements in her ideas about women as the basis of feminist arguments in the C19th .the contrast between Wollstonecraft's sexual conservatism and the libertarianism of Byron in Don Juan which reveals a surprising degree of (reluctant) feminism in Byron's otherwise outrageously antifeminist poem .formulation of the main issues of the subject : the franchise; labour; sexuality and sexual politics; marriage and divorce; education; professionalism; gentility; the right to a literary voice .examination of these issues in both English and American texts in such a way as to foreground their philosophical and cultural contexts


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The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.