ENGL458R - Literature by Women after 1800: History of Women's Rhetoric
0101 - Enoch, Jessica

This course will explore the history of women’s activism in the United States. Our focus will be on the rhetorical activity of publicly engaged women; that is, we will study the written and verbal strategies women have used to engage in and change the world in which they lived. Examining the work of figures such as Ida B. Wells, Emma Willard, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, we will consider how these women attempted to shape and direct debates regarding suffrage, race relations, and women’s education, among other issues. While a good deal of the semester will be reserved for reading and analyzing women’s texts already recovered by historians and rhetoric scholars, a major part of the course will be dedicated to making our own interventions in women’s rhetorical history. Thus, our work will be to identify, recover, and analyze the rhetorical achievements of a woman writer or speaker who has not yet been studied. To take up this investigation, the class will work with an archivist at the University of Maryland archives to explore the holdings there. Students will conduct their own archival research to identify a woman figure they deem important and then study her rhetorical strategies and interventions. Thus, students in the course will not only be learning about the history of women’s rhetoric in the US but they will also be contributing to it.

Also offered as WMST458.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.