Portraits of the Lady

Portraits of the Lady: American Literature at a Moment of Transition (II, AL)
From the end of the Civil War to the close of WWI, America was obsessed with issues of national identity. Cultural changes abounded: accelerating immigration and urbanization, intensifying class conflict, and advances in the social and physical sciences. In this transitional era, Americans sought a lost cultural homogeneity, as illusory as that may have been. One way to satisfy that longing was to depict ideas and ideals about American women. Images of women—literary and pictorial—became a way to represent the values of the nation and codify the fears and desires of its citizens. In this seminar we will consider the works of writers contemplating the position of the American woman, including Edith Wharton, Henry James, William Dean Howells, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather. In addition, in keeping with the era's interest in realism and its focus on the visual, we will examine representations of women in painting, portraiture, sculpture, photography, and popular media. 3 hrs. sem.
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ENAM 0448

All Sections in Fall 2012

Fall 2012

ENAM0448A-F12 Seminar (Evans)