Carrie Brownstein, a singer for riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney once sang, "Hunger makes me a modern girl." In this class, we will consider what girls around the world are hungry for: politically, socially, and intimately. We will read women writing in English and in translation at the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. This time period, which saw the advent of women's suffrage and professions, the peak and decline of the British Empire, two world wars, and great technological advancement, witnessed rapid shifts in women's and girls' lives all over the world. They published their writing in greater numbers than before; they wrote about sex, communism, shopping, crushes, colonial violence, bombings, food, and lipstick-sometimes all at the same time. In considering the legacy of women's writing, this class goes relatively narrow on time period in order to go broad on geography. How do women and girls' experience of modern life change from place to place? What does being modern mean in Paris as compared to Tokyo or Lagos? In addition to asking questions about the nature of modernity, we will analyze the roles of language and translation in the circulation of women writers. Reading literature in translation challenges many of our assumptions about authorship and style. When we read the works of these great writers, we will keep asking: who was working-translating, editing, printing, teaching-behind the scenes? We will read texts by Paulette Nardal, Virginia Woolf, Krupabai Satthianadhan, Una Marson, Olive Shreiner, Zhang Henshui, Nella Larsen, Katherine Mansfield, and others.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; EL GML; FA HUM; AR HUM