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In the 19th century, a strange marriage of art, literature, science, and psychology catapulted society’s obsession with the archetypal madwoman into the mainstream. Pathologies that had once been used to portray the outré now came to be seen as essential characteristics of all women, casting ideological shadows well into the 21st century. Students will go beyond the confines of literature alone to investigate this unique commingling of ingredients—the fictional madwoman, the pictorial madwoman, scientific theories concerning gender, medical documents, written testimonies of asylum inmates, etc. Themes of identity, guilt, self-persecution, innocence, redemption, disease and violence will be examined. Literary works will include fiction, poetry and essays by Kate Chopin, Christina Rossetti, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and others.

Course Number: LIT-40069
Credit: 2.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Creative Writing

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