SYLLABUS VIEW (Rev. 2/15/00 to compensate for the Snow Holidays)

Weekly Schedule and Assignments

Week 1-- Seeking inspiration in frozen crystaline water.

Th. 1/20: Snow day.

Week 2-- Classical beginnings of "the Muses" in Homer and lyric poets.

Tu. 1/25: Snow again.

Th. 1/27: Course introduction--some sample readings of ways people have understood "the Muses" and "inspiration."

Week 3-- Pre-classical beginnings of "the Muses" in Homer and the lyric poets.

Tue. 2/1: Two excerpts from Homer (Iliad: Helen on the walls of Troy; Odyssey: Helen and Menalaos at home); three male lyric poets who were contemporaries of Sappho--Archilochos, Alkman, and Stesichoros (21-54)-- and Sappho #1-#4 (51-55).

Th. 2/3: Sappho #5-68 and the works of Korinna, Telesilla, Praxilla, Erinna, Anyte, Nossis, Moiro, Hedyla, and Melinno (109-142).  (If you have time and are curious, see Alkaios #6 for a typical male poet's view of Helen, Ibykos #5 for an ironic invocation of the Muses re: Troy, Anakreon #1, 3, 6, and 8 for invocations of Dionysus and Aphrodite as sources of song and "mania."  Many of these are short, only two lines long.)

Week 4-- The "Big Chill": Female "inspiration" becomes dangerous--Aeschylus, Orestia

Tue. 2/8: Aeschylus, Orestia, Paul Roche's "Introduction" (xiii-xxii) and "Agamemnon" (29-99).


Th. 2/10: Aeschylus, Orestia, "Libation Bearers," "Eumenides." (105-202)


Week 5-- Medieval courtly women vs. "les jeloux: The Lais of Marie de France

Tue. 2/15: Prologue, "Guigemar," "Equitan," "Le Fresne,"

Th. 2/17: "Bisclavret," "Lanval," "Les Deus Amanz."

Friday, 2/18, 5PM, reflective journals due at Van Meter G57.

Week 6-- Medieval courtly women vs. "les jeloux: The Lais of Marie de France

Tue. 2/22: "Yonec," "Laustic," Milun,"

Th. 2/24: "Chaitivel," "Chevrefoil," "Eliduc."

Week 7-- Medieval women mystics:back to direct contact with the gods.--Julian of Norwich

For a page discussing Julian's work in relation to that of Margery Kempe, her contemporary, click here.

For a page which suggests some ways to approach Julian's claims of religious revelation, click here.

Tue. 2/29: Julian of Norwich, Revelation of Divine Grace, Introduction, vii-xlii.

Th. 3/2: Julian of Norwich, Revelation of Divine Grace: Short Text of the "Showings," 3-38.

Week 8-- Amelya Lanyer, the first Elizabethan woman published in print

For the complete text of the dedication poems, "SDRJ," and "Cooke-ham," click here.  (Note: this site is available only to students logged on to a Goucher College account.  For advice about reading important excerpts, and for how to navigate the poem using the "control+F" command, click here.)   For Kari Boyd McBride's U. Arizona Lanyer site accessible to the general public and which includes a biography, bibliography, comments, and all of the poems except "SDRJ," click here.

Tue. 3/7: the Dedication Poems

Th. 3/9: "Salve Deus Rex Judeorum" and "To Cooke-Ham"

Week 9--Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, courtly Restoration women, the reaction against publication, and the search for "an Absolute Retreat."

Follow this hyperlink to go directly to the text of "Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions."

Tue. 3/14: Background on John Milton's Paradise Lost (esp. Book 1 Proem); "Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions."

Thurs. 3/16 "Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions."

Friday, 3/17 (or before), 5PM, reflective journal entries due at Van Meter G57.

Sat. 3/18-Sun. 3/26: Spring Break

Week 10-- Pseudonymous publication: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

[Note: this hyperlink takes you to the Jane Eyre overview of George Landow's "The Victorian Web" (Brown University, main overview at  In addition to some scholarly work, the site contains a good deal of text written by undergraduates in Professor Landow's Victorian Lit. class, but it all has been checked for accuracy and logic, either by George, himself, or by his graduate assistants.  I'd accept information from this site as "scholarly" for the purposes of English 222, but apply common sense checks before using it.  You will see that TVW follows the web aesthetic which decrees that pages should be not much more than one video screen long, so by necessity many of the observations on it are not followed to their logical consequences, and obvious alternative explanations are sometimes not explored.  I guess you could say I don't agree with that web aesthetic, but there are all kinds of ways to use this stuff.]   For bibliographic information and notes on English 222 reserve sources which deal with madness and C19 women's writing, click here.

Tue. 3/28: Jane Eyre, 1-103 (Chapters 1 to 12).

Th. 3/30: Jane Eyre, 103-211 (Chapters 13 to 21).

Week 11-- Pseudonymous publication: Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

Tue. 4/4: Jane Eyre, 211-307 (Chapters 22 to 29).

Th. 4/6: Jane Eyre, 307-398 (Chapters 30 to 38).  Also, if you have time, take a look at the excerpt of Virginia Woolf's essay on Charlotte Bronte from her Common Reader 1st series essay, pages 455-7.

Week 12-- "Herstory"--taking stock of the past; taking control of the future.

Tue. 4/11: Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 3-57.  Note that additional pages of information on Woolf's education, the foundation of women's colleges at Cambridge, her relationship with her father and Shakespeare, and women's suffrage have been added to this basic "AROOO" page.

Th. 4/13: Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own, 58-114.

Week 13--Speaking for the silent: the muse who bore you. 

Tue. 4/18: "Daisy Tan Dies at 83; Mother of Author Amy Tan, Inspiration for Novel," Obituary, The Washington Post, 26 November 1999, B7; Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, "Feathers from a Thousand Li Away," 3-83.   For some important background information before you read the novel, please click here.

Th. 4/20: Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, "The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates," 87-155.

Week 14-- Speaking for the silent: the muse who bore you.

Tue. 4/25: Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, "American Translation," 159-236.

Th. 4/27: Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club, "Queen Mother of the Western Skies," 239-332.

Week 15--

Mon. 5/2: last day of class--course evaluations and a concluding conversation about inspiration and creativity. What have we learned and how can we build on what we know?

Final Papers and reflective journals are due by 5:00 PM, Friday 5/8 (extended deadline due to Kalamazoo Conference--wish me creative inspiration on the 5th at 3:30).

Chronological View

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