Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


In this course, you will read literature written by women from the 14th century CE to today. The course focuses on writing produced in the English-speaking world but may include significant works in translation.

You will learn about the formal features of women’s writing, including the ways women adopt, adapt, and challenge broader literary traditions. The course explores the conditions under which women wrote and published as well as how their works were received by their first readers. It provides opportunities not only to explore key issues and debates in contemporary scholarship on women’s writing but to contribute to them through a collaborative class project. Together, we will think about what constitutes “women’s writing” and the effects (both positive and negative) of categorizing literary works in this way.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interpret literary works by women at an advanced undergraduate level;

2. Explain and participate in critical and theoretical debates surrounding women's writing at advanced undergraduate level;

3. Explain cultural, intercultural, and transhistorical concerns relating to women's writing;

4. Locate and compile selections from primary and secondary sources relevant to women authors.


Topics will include:

  • Features of literary language used by women writers, including genre and form;
  • Literary, cultural, and sociopolitical themes of women’s writing;
  • The historical and material contexts in which women wrote and shared their work;
  • The status and reception of women’s writing across various geographical locations and time periods;
  • Critical and theoretical debates related to women’s writing.


This course replaces ENGL3651. If you have successfully completed ENGL3651 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of English

Assessment items

Essay: Essay (30%)

Portfolio: Commonplace book (30%)

Project: Contributions to class WikiBook (40%)

Contact hours



Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.