PS "Women Writers of the Mid-Nineteenth Century"

Dozent(in): Christina Caupert, M.A.
Termin: Montag 8:15-9:45
Gebäude/Raum: 2127

Inhalt der Lehrveranstaltung:

Measured by sales figures, the most successful American novels of the 19th century were written by women. But from the very beginning these “sentimental novels” also met with disapproval: contentwise dominated by a conservative world view that left women little opportunity for self-realization beyond devotion to their families within the domestic sphere, and aesthetically often of a mediocre quality aimed at superficial effects, very few of these bestsellers are regarded as literary masterpieces.

Nevertheless, in this seminar we will take a close look at a prime example of such literature (The Wide, Wide World) in order to analyze the typical characteristics of the sentimental novel as well as to be able to form an unbiased opinion of its achievements and weaknesses on the basis of its historico-cultural background. Beyond that, we will also talk about novels that in many respects extend far beyond the mere classification as “sentimental”. Finally, some additional shorter texts (e.g. Rebecca Harding Davis, “Life in the Iron-Mills” (1861)) should help to give you an idea of the broad range of genres women’s literature covered around the middle of the 19th century.

Vorkenntnis für die Lehrveranstaltung:

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: introductory course

Anforderungen fürden Scheinerwerb: regular attendance, short presentation, term paper

Literatur zur Lehrveranstaltung:

Warner, Susan. The Wide, Wide World (1850).

Beecher Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852).

Stoddard, Elizabeth. The Morgesons (1862).


The first (and longest!) novel on the schedule, The Wide, Wide World, should be read by the second week of the semester.

weitere Informationen zu der Lehrveranstaltung:

empfohlenes Studiensemester der Lehrveranstaltung: Grundstudium
Fachrichtung Lehrveranstaltung: Amerikanistik (Magister), Englisch (Lehramt)
Nummer der Lehrveranstaltung: 05 241
Beginn der Lehrveranstaltung: 16. April 2007
Dauer der Lehrveranstaltung: 2 SWS
Typ der Lehrveranstaltung: PS - Proseminar
Semester: SS 2007