ENGL 3267 Women Writers

Instructor Contact:

Grace Rexroth, PhD Candidate

Email: Grace.Rexroth@colorado.edu

About the Course:

In 2011, Jhumpa Lahiri claimed: “Fiction is an act of willfulness, a deliberate effort to reconceive, to arrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself.” In her view, what writers really offer the world are competing ideas about what that world is or can be. Over the course of this semester we will examine how women from different eras have produced literature—the myriad ways that they have struggled to “reconceive, to arrange, to reconstitute nothing short of reality itself.”  In this class, we will ask: what does it mean to cast a woman in a lead role?  How has female authority been imagined and reimagined—and to what end? What are the key debates about female power that are shaping our own lives and stories now?  Which women get to write?  Which women are we taught to pay attention to and why?Course Prerequisites: List course prereqs here:


  1. Gain an initial exposure to a number of literary works composed by and about women
  2. Demonstrate comprehension of the historical circumstances in which each work was produced, from the eighteenth-century to the present
  3. Identify and describe characters, plots, significant passages, and themes in selected works
  4. Develop and use a vocabulary of literary terms and concepts to describe the aesthetic form or historical context of a given work
  5. Apply techniques of close reading to texts to be able to identify, define, and discuss genre, poetic language, poetic form, tone, audience, allusions, imagery, rhetorical devices, etc.
  6. Demonstrate comprehension of major feminist scholarship influencing the way we read texts written by and about women
  7. Formulate an interpretative thesis and defend it with analysis of textual evidence, as demonstrated in frequent writing assignments (discussion posts and papers)
  8. Distill the breadth of class discussion, lecture material, and literary musing into concise, focused, and formal prose pieces of literary analysis

Required Texts:

  • Edgeworth, Maria. Belinda. Penguin Classics (1801), 2001.
  • Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower. Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993.
  • Dumont, Marilyn. A Really Good Brown Girl. Brick Books, 1996.
  • Rooney, Sally. Conversations With Friends. Hogarth, 2017.

In addition to the books listed above, there will be additional readings available on Canvas.  Links to these readings can be found through the course Modules tab, in the weekly overviews.

Grading (out of 1000 points):

Table – Grading Scale
Letter Grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
Percentage Grade 94-100 90-93 87-89 83-86 80-82 77-79 73-76 70-72 67-69 63-66 60-62 <60
Total Points 940-1000 900-939 870-899 830-869 800-829 770-799 730-769 700-729 670-699 630-669 600-629 -599

Introductory Assignments (30 points or 3% of overall grade)

  • Syllabus Quiz | 20 points
  • Introductory Bio | 10 points

Short Weekly Assignments: (700 points or 70% of overall grade)

  • Discussion Posts and Responses (7 sets) | 350 points total
    • Posts (300 words) | 30 points each
    • Responses (200 words) | 20 points each
  • Worksheets (5) | 250 points total
    • Oxford English Dictionary Worksheet | 50 points
    • Nineteenth-Century Poetry Worksheet | 50 points
    • Thesis-Building Worksheet | 50 points
    • Theory Application Worksheet | 50 points
    • Twentieth-Century Poetry Worksheet | 50 points
  • Quizzes (5) | 100 points total
    • 5 Quizzes | 20 points each

Longer Assignments: (270 points or 27% of overall grade)

  • First Paper | 140 points total
    • Paper Proposal (1-2 pages) | 30 points
    • Zoom Conference | 10 points
    • First Paper (4-5 pages) | 100 points
  • Second Paper or Creative Project | 130 points total
    • Proposal (1-2 pages) | 30 points
    • Paper/Project | 100 points


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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