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ENL8014 The Madwoman and the Medusa: Women's Writing since the 19th Century (Masters)

Semester 1, 2016 External
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 091523 - Literature

Contents on this page


Examiner: Jessica Gildersleeve


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: MSTA or MARA

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Questions of tradition, influence and canon formation are central to the study of literary texts and their value in particular places and times. Answering these questions can tell us about the ideological contexts of our histories and the social and political implications of particular texts and genres.


This course provides students with an expert, contemporary understanding of the relationship between writing and identity by tracing the history of women's writing in a variety of modes since the nineteenth century.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. expertly describe the progression and contexts of women?s writing (in literature and theory) from the nineteenth century to the present day
  2. evaluate the construction of traditions and canons in these contexts
  3. analyse literary texts at a professional level
  4. demonstrate professional standards in articulating these objectives in written modes.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Women and the canon 20.00
2. The angel and the madwoman 20.00
3. The woman artist 20.00
4. Gender and Performance 20.00
5. Writing the body 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Bechdel, A 2007, Fun home, Mariner Books, New York.
  • Bronte, C 2000, Jane Eyre, (ed Dunn RJ), 3rd edn, WW Norton, New York.
  • Chopin, K 1993, The awakening, (ed Culley, M), 2nd edn, WW Norton, New York.
  • Hall, R 2008, The well of loneliness, Virago Modern Classics, London.
  • McBridge, E 2014, A girl is a half-formed thing, Hogarth edn, London.
  • Rhys, J 1998, Wide Sargasso Sea, (ed Raiskin, JL), WW Norton, New York.
  • Sapphire 1998, Push: a novel, Vintage, London.
  • Winterson, J 1996, The passion, Vintage, London.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Gilbert, A & Gubar, S (ed) 2007, The Norton anthology of literature by women: the traditions in English, 3rd edn, WW Norton, New York.
  • Gilbert, S & Gubar, S 2009, The madwoman in the attic after thirty years., (ed. Federico, A), U of Missouri P, Columbia.
  • Marks, E & de Courtivron, I ed 1981, New French feminisms: an anthology, Harvester Wheatsheaf, New York.
  • Rosenman, EB 1995, A room of one's own: women writers and the politics of creativity, Twayne, New York.
  • Shattock, J (ed) 2001, Women and literature in Britain, 1800-1900, Cambridge UP, Cambridge.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Online Discussion Groups 31.00
Private Study 134.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CRITICAL ESSAY 100 30 04 Apr 2016
SEMINAR PAPER 100 20 10 Jun 2016 (see note 1)
MAJOR STUDY 100 50 13 Jun 2016

  1. The Seminar Paper will be presented online. Students will sign up for their presentation in week 1

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online: There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students? responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.