Announcements - 103 S12
Created 02/10/2012 - 1:50pm
Thursday, March 1st 7:00 pm
Guest Speaker: Mary Caputi
Warrior Women vs. Ragpickers: Divergent Paths in Contemporary Feminism
Reception to follow.
Sponsored by the Women's Studies Program (soon to be Gender and Women's Studies), the Center for Women's Intercultural Leadership, the Political Science Department, and the Intercultural Studies Program.
PIERRE BONNARD, BACKGROUND
For a brief, informative and helpful overview of the artist and many of the paintings Gordon references in her first chapter, watch this video from an exhibit of some of Bonnard's work at the MET in 2009.
For some additional commentary go here.
Also, you might find it interesting to note that Claymore is modeled after Harvard's McLean Hospital, a mental health facility largely known by fame of some of its patients including writers and musicians.
Note: A transcript of the script is online if you decide you'd like to write a paper on the film.
Published in 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" speaks directly to the themes of this course, but it also opens up a number of broader questions about the history of mental illness, the social "place" of women in nineteenth-century America, and the many expectations and social pressures women writers faced. We will also use this story as a way to explore the intricate ways that literary texts are bound up in their historical, national and cultural conditions. In other words, we're going to try to better understand the broader context that Gilman was living and writing in. To help you explore answers to some of these questions, I've posted a few resources and guiding questions below.
What's going on in art?
What is a "nervous disorder" anyway?
At the turn of the 20th century, a condition called neurasthenia was determined to be the root cause to many cases of anxiety and depression, especially in the U.S. and especially for women. The actual medical validity behind such cases, however, was often suspect, creating instead what some have called a "culture of neurasthenia" in which women were often portrayed in nervous, weakened states. Women said to suffer from such conditions were many times prescribed rest cures or periods of severely restricted activity: no reading, no exercise, no sewing, reduced diet, strict bed rest, etc. The American Journal of Psychiatry has a helpful article, "The Rest Cure Revisited," explaining the history behind the supposed "cure" and the physician responsible for its use, S. Weir Mitchell (the same doctor Gilman references in her story, one she was herself treated by).
Where was the story originally published and what did it look like?
For links to images of the original pages from The New England Magazine, see Cornell's Making of America website. The image you see above was included in the initial publication.
More Reading Questions:
Please note that the readings for Feb. 9, Feb. 14 and Feb. 16 have moved around a bit. The correct reading order is reflected in the online schedule. Please make note on your syllabus.
Describe a place that is significant to you. Consider a range of spaces: a favorite vacation spot, a particular room, an athletic field, a trail or road, a building, a porch, etc. Feel free to get creative.
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. ISBN 0345514408
Friel, Brian. Translations. ISBN 0-571-11742-2
Gordon, Mary. Circling My Mother. ISBN 978-0-307-27761-9Hogan, Linda. Power. ISBN 0393319687
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis (ISBN 978-0-375-71457-3) & Persepolis 2 (ISBN 978-0-375-71466-5)
** or The Complete Persepolis (ISBN 0375714839)
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One's Own. ISBN 0156787334
Barrett, Andrea. "Servants of the Map."
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "The Yellow Wallpaper."
McCloud, Scott. "Understanding Comics"