ENGL 1260 Introduction to Women’s Literature

Instructor Contact:

Conny Cassity

Email: conny.cassity@colorado.edu

About the Course:

This class introduces you to women’s literary history, exploring how and why women have fought to have unique attention paid to their artistic voices. We’ll read essays, short stories, poems, and novels from women over the last few hundred years to inform discussions of why we should study women’s words, how we can seek them out when political and social forms of oppression have made them hard to find, and how, throughout history, women have encouraged each other to embrace their imaginations and identities as writers. As part of this class, you will participate in recovery work of your own, creating an anthology-style entry for a lesser-known woman writer as your final project.

Course Prerequisites: No prerequisites required.


Literature classes aim to teach you three things: how to read a text carefully and critically, how to produce original and perceptive analyses about that work, and how to communicate those insights clearly. This course is designed to help you achieve these skills, as well as to provide you with basic knowledge about these writers’ works and to foster understanding of the landscape of women’s writing. All assignments in this course are geared toward helping you achieve these goals. Regular and active engagement in this class will help you do the following:

1.     Gain basic historical and cultural knowledge about the development of women’s writing as a field of study;

2.     Foster understanding of how, why, and in what ways women contributed to the shaping of literature and how the study of literature has incorporated (or failed to incorporate) women’s writing;

3.     Apply your gained knowledge and understanding to academic work as well as to your own lives and what you read or watch today;

4.     Analyze how these texts give us varied perspectives on politics, education, social frameworks, artistic culture, and ethics;

5.     Evaluate how women writers discuss individual rights, identities, and responsibilities alongside the greater project of making their voices heard and asserting their place in literary studies;

6.     Develop your own opinions from deep interrogation of these issues, which you will be able support in written form throughout the course.

Required Texts:

Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. Vintage Books, 1984. ISBN: 0679734775

Montgomery, L. M. Anne of Green Gables. 1908. Edited by Cecily Devereux, Broadview, 2004. ISBN: 9781551113623

PDFs to download from Canvas.


Students will complete a series of analysis-based discussion posts, reading quizzes, and a final project.

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado