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Unit information: Between Men and Women: Gender in Literature. in 2020/21

Unit name Between Men and Women: Gender in Literature.
Unit code ENGL21008
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Gareth Griffith
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will introduce a range of approaches for thinking about gender in literature. Students will have opportunities to read a variety of texts, in different forms, chosen from a range of historical periods. Topics covered may include the representation of women in literature; autobiographical writing; male and female readers; sexuality; androgyny; feminist literary criticism and the canon; the relationship between the sexes; and gender roles.


This unit will introduce students to a range of texts and ask them to consider issues related to gender as it is presented in and illuminated by literature. A range of critical approaches will be used and students will be encouraged to read widely and to think about issues such as the representation of women in literature, autobiographical writing, male and female readers, sexuality, androgyny, feminist literary criticism and the canon, the relationship between the sexes, and gender roles.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will be able to

1) analyse texts from a range of historical periods

2) critically evaluate representations of men and women in literature, the roles of male and female authors and readers, and a variety of other topics relevant to gender in literature

3) communicate their ideas about these issues effectively

4) present a persuasive written argument

Teaching details

1 x 3-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Assessment Details

1 x 4000 word essay [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

  • The Book of Margery Kempe, edited by Barry Windeatt.
  • Oroonoko and Other Works, by Aphra Behn.
  • Selected Poems, by Thomas Hardy.
  • A Room of Ones Own, by Virginia Woolf.
  • A Literature of Their Own, by Elaine Showalter.
  • The Cleft, by Doris Lessing.