26019 - English Women's Literature

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Lilla Maria Crisafulli

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-LIN/10

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Modern, Post-Colonial and Comparative Literatures (cod. 0981)

  • Course Timetable from Feb 08, 2022 to Apr 05, 2022

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student possesses in-depth knowledge of English women's literature. He is able to use practical methodologies for the analysis and the interpretation of the literary text

Course contents

Title of the course: English Romantic Women's writing between history, genre and gender

The course will examine the rise of a proto-feminist awareness  in the revolutionary and Romantic age, through the reading and analysis of texts written between the end of the XVIII and the beginning of the XIX century. Starting from Mary Woillstonecraft's novel Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman, Elizabeth Inchbald's play, The Massacre (1792) and going through Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1818), the course will end with a close reading of Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem The Factory (1835). After an introduction to the Romantic literary framework and to the critical and theoretical approach to women's works, different positions and contributions of such authors as Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Inchbald, Mary Shelley and L.E.L. will be analysed. Passages from the selected texts will be discussed in relation to the different genres they belong to, with particular attention to the various forms of discourse and languages through which female bodies and identities were shaped and conveyed. What will be also explored is the way in which women writers of the revolutionary and, then,  romantic period contributed and responded to the political issues of the time and to the gender discourse that was under construction.

In the current academic year, this course is related to other courses, within the degree programme of the European Master GEMMA, that also engage with the macro concepts “Identity, alterity, difference, diversity”.

Readings/Bibliography

Primary sources

M.Wollstonecraft, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (published posthumously in 1798) 

E. Inchbald The Massacre (1792)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)

L.E.L. Landon, 'The Factory' (1835)

Critical reading:

L. M. Crisafulli e Giovanna Silvani (a cura di), Mary vs Mary, Liguori, 2021

L. M. Crisafulli and K. Elam (a cura di), Manuale di Letteratura e Cultura Inglese, Bononia University Press, 2009 (some chapters), (Biblioteca di Lingue)

L.M. Crisafulli and G. Golinelli, Women's Voices and Genealogies in Literary Studies in English, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019

Catherine B. Burrough, Women in British Romantic Theatre: Drama, Performance and Society, 1790-1840, Cambridge University Press, 2000

Lilla Maria Crisafulli and Keir Elam (eds), Women's Romantic Theatre and Drama: History, Agency, and Performativity, Ashgate, 2010

George Levine and U. C. Knopflmacher eds. The Endurance of Frankenstein: essays on Mary Shelley's Novel, Berkley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press, 1979.

Carol M. Devison and Marie Mulvey-Roberts eds., Global Frankenstein, Palgrave (2018)



Students will be asked to present papers in class and will be also assessed on the basis of their performance. The final exam will consist in one  written essay and an oral discussion.

Attendance and class partecipation will also be assessed as the component of the final overall mark.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Audio-visual equipment; Power-Point Projection; texts, photocopies and other documents will be provided during the course.

Teaching methods

The course will be organized on seminar base, encouraging students to participate in class discussion. Presentation and discussion of written essays

Assessment methods

Students will be asked to present papers  and will be also assessed on the basis of their performance during the course. The final exam will consist in one or two written essays and an oral discussion.

Attendance and class partecipation will also be assessed as the component of the final overall mark.

Teaching tools

Audio-visual equipment; Power-Point Projection; texts, photocopies and other documents will be provided during the course.

Office hours

See the website of Lilla Maria Crisafulli