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Feminist Literary Criticism

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Fiona Tolan (Liverpool John Moores University) explores the origins and application of feminist literary criticism. We start with a broad consideration of what feminism is, from its origins in the women’s suffrage movement to the MeToo movement today. In the second module, we move to consider how the theoretical developments of second-wave feminism allow critics to interrogate texts from a feminist perspective, focusing on Kate Millet’s work in this capacity. In the third module, we explore the concept of gynocriticism, as an approach to increase the female authors in the canon. In the fourth module, we learn about French feminism and the concept of écriture féminine. In the fifth module, we apply the lens of feminist criticism to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby (1925), interrogating the author’s portrayal of women. Finally, we analyse Margaret Atwood’s novel A Handmaid’s Tale (1985) from a feminist perspective, focusing on the ways in which it engages with gendered power dynamics.

About the Lecturer

Dr Fiona Tolan is Senior Lecturer of English at Liverpool John Moores University. Her research and teaching focuses on women’s contemporary fiction and the history of second-wave feminism. Her publications include The Fiction of Margaret Atwood (2022) and Margaret Atwood: Feminism and Fiction (2007), which won the 2007 Margaret Atwood Society’s Best Book Award.

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