Images of Women in Literature

Course Number: ENG 222
Transcript Title: Images of Women in Literature
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: January 22, 2016
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

Explores images of women as they appear in a diverse range of texts from across a variety of cultures and historical periods. Focuses on how both men and women have imagined and represented femininity and femaleness in ways that can challenge, reinforce and/or reconfigure culturally-based perceptions, behaviors and practices. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the ways in which the text constructs images of women within diverse cultures and a variety of historical moments.
  2. Locate (find and place) representations of women within various literary traditions, conventions, and in relation to other forms of artistic expression.
  3. Recognize stylistic choices authors make within given forms and the ways they affect the creation of images of women in literature.
  4. Explore how form influences meaning in complex documents that invite multiple interpretations.
  5. Write clear, focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience using standard English conventions and style.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)
2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)
4. Appreciate cultural diversity and constructively address issues that arise out of cultural differences in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)
5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment may include informal responses to study questions; evaluation of small- and full-group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing; formal essays, as well as other types of informal writing; presentation by individuals and groups; short and long essay exams; close reading exercises using support/evidence; writing exercises which include evaluation of various interpretations of a text and their relative validity. Both instructor and peer evaluation may be incorporated in the assessment process.

May include student critiques of student work, evaluations of in-class and out-of-class writing, analysis of close reading exercises, instructor conferences, and written instructor comments.

Course Activities and Design

This course design can include lecture, discussion, and group work, along with activities such as participating in group projects, film viewing, etc. Students will read, respond to course materials, and participate in various other course activities.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Understanding prose fiction through contexts such as society, politics, artistic conventions, multiple interpretations of an author, etc.
  • Writing about fiction.
  • Close readings.
  • Critical reading employing reviews and critical essays.
  • Speaking and listening reflectively.
  • Small-group collaboration.
  • Information literacy.


  • Articulate ways in which the text constructs images of women.
  • Engage, through the text, unfamiliar and diverse cultures, experiences and points of view.
  • Appreciate an apparently simple text as a complex fabric or document.


  • Recognize images of women in the text as products of particular cultures and historical movements.
  • Understand the text within the context of a literary tradition or convention.
  • Acknowledge the possibility of multiple interpretations of a text.
  • Recognize the text’s relationship to different art forms.


  • Recognize the variety of stylistic choices that authors make within given forms, and how they affect the creation of images of women in literature. This may include decisions about theme, image, character, plot, setting, voice, point of view, figurative language, etc.
  • Use knowledge of form as a tool to analyze the text, as well as to demonstrate how form influences meaning.


  • Evaluates various interpretations of a text and their validity through reading, writing, and speaking, and through individual and group responses.
  • Through close reading of a text, discover and analyze the support/evidence for a particular interpretation.
  • Write clear, focused, coherent essays about literature for an academic audience using standard English conventions and style.