This course is designed to introduce students to concepts, critical approaches and methods that are central to gender studies in the Humanities. It will achieve this by focusing on a literary text, Charlotte Bronte's novel Jane Eyre. This text, which has been important in the development of feminist scholarship since the 1970s, has also attracted a non-academic readership, influencing media such as the popular romance and cinema. Using Jane Eyre and its extensive critical commentary and popular adaptations and spin-offs as a springboard, the unit will investigate such topics as gender, representation, sexuality, race, class, madness, marriage and the law. Other texts to be studied in conjunction with the novel will include Jean Rhys's 'prequel' to Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, (1966) and Jane Campion's 1992 film The Piano and recent popular texts such as Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair (2001).
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, student will have the knowledge and skills to:
- undertake an interdisciplinary analysis of a canonical literary text;
- explain the changing interpretations of Jane Eyre over time, and how interpretation is shaped by socio-political and literary-theoretical concerns;
- analyse cinematic adaptations of Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea and related texts;
- explain key concepts and methods of feminist literary criticism;
- use appropriate critical concepts and methods for analyzing literature.
Indicative AssessmentFour short responses on critical readings, 300 words each (20%) [Learning outcomes 1, 2]
Textual analysis, 750 words (25%) [Learning outcomes 5]
Final essay, 1750 words (45%) [Learning outcomes 1-5]
Tutorial preparation and participation (10%) [Learning outcomes 1-5]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 37 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 18 hours of lectures, 11 hours of tutorials, and 8 hours of film screenings
b) 93 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Broadview edition)
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- 6 units
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