EmaleModernIst s Women Writers in Paris

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F e m a l e M o d e r n I s t s
Women Writers in Paris

Between the Wars
Professor Terry Castle Margaret Jacks Hall 313 castle@stanford.edu

English 144F Winter Quarter 2016 Tues Thurs 11:30-1:20 Bldg 90-92Q

Gertrude Stein Josephine Baker Djuna Barnes

Course Description:

The course will focus on expatriate women—American and British—who lived and wrote in Paris between the wars (1918-1939).  Among them: Gertrude Stein (and Alice B. Toklas), H.D., Djuna Barnes, Janet Flanner, Josephine Baker, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Natalie Barney, and

Jean Rhys.  (We will also read Colette's gorgeous memoir of the post-First World War period.)

­­A central theme will be Paris as a lure and inspiration for bohemian female modernists, and the various alternative and emancipatory literary communities they created. We will also look at some of the modernist artists and photographers and performers associated with this group of writers (Claude Cahun, Berenice Abbott, Gisele Freund, Sonia Delaunay, Gluck, Vanessa Bell, Romaine Brooks, Lee Miller, et al.)

Video: Andrea Weiss, Paris Was a Woman: Portraits from the Left Bank (view in class)
Gertrude Stein, Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and other works
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and Mina Loy, selected poems (handout)
Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (New Edition) [Dalkey Archive,Paperback] and

Ladies Almanack: Showing Their Signs and Their Tides; Their Moons and Their Changes; The Seasons As It Is With Them; Their Eclipses and Equinoxes; ... etc.
Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show (New York Review Books Classics)
Colette, The Pure and the Impure

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Mary Butts (Author)Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight


a) Attendance, Reading, and Class Participation:
Students will complete all readings for the course according to the schedule below. 100% attendance is required; casual absences are not acceptable. (Students absent for any reason are expected to notify the instructor in advance.) More than one absence will affect your grade adversely! All students should be prepared to participate fully in every class discussion. Classroom participation will account for 25% of your final grade. (***Note: no incompletes will be given in this course except in authentic cases of illness or emergency***)
As a courtesy to me and to your fellow students: may I also ask 1) that you not arrive late; and 2) that you turn off cellphones at the beginning of class? Thank you!
b) Written Assignments:
We will have a Course Blog, to which each student will be asked to contribute at least one or two well-honed paragraphs of writing (i.e., a critical ‘gloss’) each week. (7-8 blognotes total. You will post your blog note by 8 pm on Monday night, for the following day.) The format for each entry will be this: the student will select and reproduce a short (or short-ish) passage from the assigned reading that he or she finds particularly striking or puzzling or potentially illuminating. He or she will then ‘gloss’ it: that is, describe as succinctly and compellingly as possible what it is saying and doing in the fictional context, why we should find it interesting or important, what kinds of critical questions and challenges it poses, and indeed, how one might generate from it some more extended critical statement or essay topic. Issues highlighted can be thematic, stylistic, linguistic, formal, reception-oriented, or indeed anything else one might find intriguing. All blog entries will be shared with one’s classmates, and students will be asked to keep up with and comment on one another’s entries. Blog work will count as 50% of your final grade.
In class we will use these glosses as our discussion ‘prompts.’ Not only will they help us identify key themes and topics in the works under discussion, we’ll consider each gloss itself as a piece of concise critical rhetoric to be analyzed. How well has the author conveyed the passages’s significance? What’s the author’s goal here and how successfully does he or she get it across?
Students will write one longer more formal paper, 8-10 pp. in length, due date to be announced. (It will be due near the end of the quarter.) It will constitute the remaining 25% of your final grade.
[N.B. My policy on late papers: for every day your essay is late, the final grade will be reduced by a half-step(i.e., B to B-). Policy kicks in immediately, so papers will be due IN CLASS. If essays come in later that sameday, the grade will automatically be reduced a half-step.]

Reading Schedule: TBA

Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks
Flappers, Paris, 1920s

Week 1 Tu Jan 5 Introduction-- Andrea Weiss, “Paris Was A Woman” video

(Josephine Baker, Nancy Cunard, Sylvia Beach, Berenice Abbott, Giselle Freund)


Reading Schedule:

Th Jan 7 Introduction (cont.) World War I and women; 1920s-1930s

women’s visual culture

Week 2 Tu Jan 12 Sylvia Townsend Warner, Summer Will Show (entire) (first blog

posted Monday night)

Th Jan 14 Warner, Summer Will Show (entire)

Week 3 Tu Jan 19 Gertrude Stein, Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (2nd blog

posted Monday night)

Th Jan 21 Stein, Valentine to Picasso, Sherwood Anderson, et al.;
Tender Buttons
Week 4 Tu Jan 26 Djuna Barnes, Ladies Almanack and Nightwood (3rd blog posted

Monday night)

Th Jan 28 Barnes, Nightwood (entire)

Th Feb 4 Selected poems by H.D. Mina Loy, S.T. Warner, and others

(4TH blog posted by today)
Week 6 Tu Feb 9 Film in class: Josephine Baker, Jazz in Paris in the 1920s

(no blog post this week)

Th Feb 11 Film in class: Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel
Week 7 Tu Feb 16 Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness, first 2/3rds

(5th blog posted Monday night)

Th Feb 18 Hall, The Well of Loneliness (entire)
Week 8 Tu Feb 23 Jean Rhys, Good Morning Midnight (6th blog posted Monday night)

Th Feb 25 Jean Rhys, Good Morning Midnight

Week 9 Tu Mar 1 Colette, The Pure and the Impure, first 1/2

(7th blog posted Monday night)

Th Mar 3 Colette, The Pure and the Impure, 2nd 1/2

Week 10 Tu Mar 8 Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday (entire) (no more blogs!)

Th Mar 10 Conclusion

Final paper due: TBA

Addendum: The Fine Print
Instructor Advisory: Just to be clear: all students taking the class realize that they will be obliged to share their writing assignments (blog posts) with other students in the class, as well as the instructor. However, your writing will not be shared without your permission with anyone other than classmates and me. Our Course Blog site will be private.
For Undergraduate students: Learning Outcomes:
This course fulfills the Ways of Thinking/Ways of Doing requirement in "Aesthetic and Interpretive Inquiry." With the requisite effort, students may expect to improve and extend their skills in several broad areas. In particular students should be better able--
to appreciate the nature of human responses to meaningful cultural objects, and distinguish among the different methods to interpret those responses;

to acquire and assess techniques of interpretation (including close reading techniques), criticism, and analysis of cultural texts, artifacts, and practices;

to demonstrate facility with the analysis of arguments for and against different theories and interpretations;

to recognize the frameworks for thought and action implicit in human practices, and analyze the different assumptions underpinning those frameworks;

to understand diverse artistic, literary, and theoretical traditions, their characteristic forms of production, and/or their development across historical time;
to understand how expressive works articulate responses to fundamental human problems and convey important values.

Relevant University Coursework Policies:
Students with Documented Disabilities

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE).  Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations.  The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL:http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/oae).


Honor Code
The Honor Code is the University's statement on academic integrity written by students in 1921. It articulates University expectations of students and faculty in establishing and maintaining the highest standards in academic work:
The Honor Code is an undertaking of the students, individually and collectively:
1.      that they will not give or receive aid in examinations; that they will not give or receive unpermitted aid in class work, in the preparation of reports, or in any other work that is to be used by the instructor as the basis of grading;
2.      that they will do their share and take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code.
3. The faculty on its part manifests its confidence in the honor of its students by refraining from proctoring examinations and from taking unusual and unreasonable precautions to prevent the forms of dishonesty mentioned above. The faculty will also avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate the Honor Code.
4.      While the faculty alone has the right and obligation to set academic requirements, the students and faculty will work together to establish optimal conditions for honorable academic work.

Josephine Baker, ca. 1925

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