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HP212 Knowing Women: Gender, Education, and Power in Hispanic Writing

Module Code: HP212
Module Name: Knowing Women: Gender, Education, and Power in Hispanic Writing

Module Coordinators: Dr Leticia Villamediana González & Dr Rich Rabone

Module Tutors: Dr Rich Rabone & Dr Leticia Villamediana González

Term 2 Time: Thursdays 11-12pm (seminar A) and 12-1pm (seminar B) in FAB.2.32
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

The aim of this module is to explore the different ways in which authors and thinkers have engaged with questions of gender and female equality through four centuries of Hispanic culture. This will be done initially by focusing on controversies surrounding women’s access to education and the ‘querelle des femmes’, which represented the major context for feminist debate in the early modern period, before analysing how those controversies are developed and expanded in the Enlightenment. Students will analyse how the presentation of these issues varies not only by period but also by genre, and will study a variety of different kinds of text, from fiction and drama to poetry and essays. Emphasis will be placed throughout on the detailed analysis of primary texts within their own cultural contexts, allowing students to see how these fundamental questions have been engaged with in different ways over time.

Course Outline

Section 1. Golden Age

Week 1. Introduction. María de Zayas (i): Education, Honour, and Agency

Week 2. María de Zayas (ii): Gender, Honour, Endings, and Responses

Week 3. Ana Caro, 'Valor, agravio y mujer'

Week 4. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Week 5. Tips for Essay Writing and Literature Review (sections 1 & 2)

Week 6. Reading Week

Section 2. Women, Gender, and the Hispanic Enlightenment

Week 7. Debates about women's talents, role, and education in 18th-Century Spain.

Week 8. Leandro Fernández de Moratín's El sí de las niñas. Education, Marriage, Power, and Opposition.

Week 9. What is a critical edition of a text? Analysis and comparison of El sí de las niñas' editions.

Week 10. María Rosa Gálvez's Zinda: Gender and Race.

Students' comments and feedback

'I really enjoyed this module and introduced me to new topics I have never even thought about. It encouraged really interesting discussions in class'.

'Really enjoyed this module and I liked how it was split into two distinct periods to see how the feminist discourse had evolved'.

Mode of Delivery

  • 1hr online asynchronous lecture + 1hr in-person seminar

Assessment Method (2023-24)

  • 1 x 2000-2250-word essay of Section 1 (50%)
  • 1 x 2000-2250-word critical edition of a text studied in Section 2 (50%)