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Italian Women's Writing (I): Voices of Protest

Module Code: IT302
Module Name: Italian Women's Writing (I): Voices of Protest
Module Coordinator: Dr Joanne Lee
Term 2 Thursdays 16.00-18.00 in H4.44
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

What is feminism and why does it have such a bad name? Do women writers write differently from male authors simply because they are women? Why have women writers been excluded from the literary canon for so long? Why do many women reject the labels of ‘feminist’ and ‘woman writer’? How does Italian feminist thought differ from other feminisms? These are just some of the questions that we will explore in this module which traces the development of the Italian women’s movement in the 1970s, a time when women fought to redefine their role and status in society. It looks at the struggle for legal reforms and introduces students to theories of gender and identity.

The focus will be on an analysis of four key novels by Italian women writers from the period. This writing, often raw and direct, denounces their oppressed condition and presents a challenge to the dominant culture. We will explore how these novels subvert traditional genres such as the romance, autobiography, detective fiction and the gothic novel in order to defy society’s notions of femininity.


One essay of 2,000-2,500 words (50%) due Wednesday 24 April 2019 at 12 noon.

A portfolio of work (50%) due Monday 13 May 2019 at 12 noon consisting of two short pieces of work (approx 1000 words each) as outlined below.

  • A journalistic opinion or response article
  • EITHER: a short commentary based on an extract or quote from one of the core texts OR a book review

Dr Joanne Lee

Jo dot Lee at warwick dot ac dot uk

Course Outline

Reading List