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The Power and Legacy of Women Writers

Professor Bettina Pedersen

This series will highlight four women writers from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Brief biographical and historical context will be presented for each author to frame the discussion of specific texts and to inform an understanding of the cultural moments in which these women spoke, reflecting both the realities of women’s lives at the time and envisioning a more emancipatory future.

May 18: Mary Wollstonecraft: Polemical Prose and Gothic Fiction

This lecture will discuss two texts by Wollstonecraft: her 1792 Vindication of the Rights of Woman, a powerful foray into the political discourse dominated by men, and her novel fragment, Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798), a work of fiction that combines the realist and gothic modes.

May 25: Christina Rossetti: Capitalist Greed and Male Sexual Lust

This lecture will discuss Rossetti’s 1864 extended narrative poem Goblin Market. We will explore the many options for critical readings of the poem, with special attention given to the poem’s depiction of the dangers of emerging capitalist values and the hope suggested by a feminist theology.

June 1: Virginia Woolf and Chimimande Ngozi Adichie: Women Speaking and Writing about Feminism

This lecture will discuss two nonfiction works by two different women writers, early twentieth-century Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) and early twenty-first-century Chimimande Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists (2014). Both writers gave lectures about feminism, later published in book form, that addressed the historical, literary, and political terrains of women’s lives.

Instructor: Bettina Tate Pedersen is Professor of Literature at Point Loma Nazarene University. She has published articles on women writers, feminism, and pedagogy. She has co-edited, with Allyson Jule, Being Feminist, Being Christian: Essays from Academia (Palgrave, 2006; 2008) and Facing Challenges: Feminism in Christian Higher Education and Other Places (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015). She received her PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Coordinator: Linda Webb

Course Number: OSHR-70063   Credit: 0 units


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