University of Iowa The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of English

8:7500 Victorian Women Writers:
Memoirists and Social Commentators

M W 6:30-7:45, N218 Linquist Center
Instructor: Florence Boos
Office: 319 EPB, office phone 335-0434 (answering machine)
Office hours: 
Tuesdays 5:00-6:15 p. m., Wednesdays 2:30-3:20 p. m. and Fridays 3-4 p. m.;
most Tuesdays and Thursdays before and after class until 8:30 p. m.;
afternoons by appointment

Course Information and Assignments

Textbooks (at UI Bookstore or from handouts; where possible these are Broadview editions)

For poetry, I will hand out copies of Augusta Webster’s “Mother and Daughter,” an introductory essay on Webster by Christine Sutphin, and other selections of poetry as needed. If you don’t purchase Leighton and Reynolds, Christina Rossetti's poetry should be available online, or I can provide copies.

For prose, I will provide handouts for Emily Davies, Anna Jameson, Augusta Webster, Janet Hamilton, Caroline Norton, Frances Power Cobbe, and Eleanor Marx, and for short fiction, selections by Margaret Oliphant and George Egerton.

Course Requirements:

  1. contributions to class discussion: please read the assignment carefully and come prepared for class discussion with a couple questions and comments on important or unusual features of the text.
  2. biographical background reports, leading of discussion: I will ask students to prepare information on two or more authors or texts and lead class discussions on some of our selections.
  3. summaries of criticism: at the points designated in the syllabus, students will be asked to report on a critical chapter/article of their choice related to the class assignment. The articles/chapters chosen should be reasonably current (that is, written after 1980 unless there is a reason for choosing an earlier selection).
  4. journal/reading responses: please prepare 8 reading responses, the equivalent of two double-spaced typed pages each, to be posted on Icon so that your fellow students may read them. Of the eight, at least three should comment on or reply to a posting by one of your fellow students, and at least half should respond to or incorporate prior criticism on the topic. You should print these out at the end of the semester and leave them for me by December 16th.
  5. final essay: In addition to posting these responses to the class web site, you will be asked to write an eighteen-twenty page critical/research paper, to be due along with your Icon postings December 16th. However you should choose a tentative topic by the end of Thanksgiving break, and if you give me a first rough draft sometime in early December I will return it with any suggestions in time for you to make revisions.
  6. final exam equivalent: You will be asked to present a précis of the substance of your essay in class December 8th or 13th.