Selected Women Writers Post-1900 - Online english courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Selected Women Writers Post-1900

woman's hands writing on a typewriter
ENGL 223/3.0

A survey of English, American and Canadian women writers of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the winter term

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the impact of 20th and 21st Century women writers on the development of the Anglophone literary canon.
  2. Discuss the features of feminine literary traditions across cultures, geographies, and histories, noting both what is unique and what is common to those traditions.
  3. Explain how women writers respond to their historical, social, and cultural contexts and, in turn, evaluate the influence of such contexts within their work.
  4. Investigate the acts of acknowledgement, resistance, and defamiliarization through which women writers (re)write the masculine literary canon and re-invent feminine identities.
  5. Analyze the relationship between form and content in works by women writers through the literary interpretation of poetry, prose, and drama – addressing the use of tropes, genres, style, and voice to communicate themes.
  6. Apply frameworks and concepts drawn from a selection of feminist literary theory to enhance critical essays on the interpretation of texts by women writers.


While women have a well-established "literature of their own” (Elaine Showalter’s phrase) and no longer need to prove its existence, they continue to defend its value and necessity. The aim of this course is to explain whether and how a distinct female voice, perspective, and style can be discerned in the astonishing wealth and variety of Anglophone literary traditions and why sexual difference matters in the writing and interpretation of literature.

In A Room of One's Own (1929), Virginia Woolf wonders, "Who shall measure the heat and violence of the poet's heart when caught and tangled in a woman's body?" This course introduces you to fiction, poetry, and drama by twentieth-century and twenty-first century women writers who have sought both to "measure" and to heal the division between poet's heart and woman's body that Woolf so eloquently describes. First, we will concern ourselves with the global diversity of feminine Anglophone literary traditions across categories of genre, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and geography. Second, we will explore how women writers adapt and alter masculine literary influences to both scandalous and sobering effect. Finally, we will consider how literature by women offers a unique and often dissident perspective on the radical social, economic, psychological, scientific and technological, and cultural transformations of the modern and contemporary world. Throughout the dissemination of this course, pertinent reference will be made to aural, oral, visual, and digital cultural production by women as well as to significant moments of collective struggle.


Winter 2023
Course Dates: 
Jan 09 - Apr 10, 2023
Exam Dates: 
Apr 14 - 27, 2023


20% - Discussion Activities
20% - Close Reading
20% - Bio-Power Activity
40% - Final Essay

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Heather Evans (

Time Commitment

While 10-12 hours a week is reasonable time commitment for most students please consider that the time required to read and respond to literary texts varies greatly according to your personal situation.

It is best practice to read literary texts twice.  For assignments, try to read the text 3-4 times. This affords the ability to communicate not only what the story, poem or play is about, but how the text tells its story or communicates its perspective, and why its style or diction or point of view alters conventional ways of seeing the world and our place in it.

In short, you should not only be able to paraphrase the text, but to use literary vocabulary to describe its most significant features. Reading a text more than once allows you to build on or challenge first and hasty impressions; the correct use of literary terms adds depth, substance, and nuance to your interpretation and shows that you respect the literariness of the text.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


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Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

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Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks, if required, can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

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