Women's Literature & Gender Studies

Course Information


Semester: Spring 2009-2010

Course Number: 459/1A         

Course Title: Women's Literature & Gender Studies

Time: S/T/R 10:00-10:50

Place: Kaifan 252

Final Exam: 12 June, 9:00-10:00


Teacher: Hanan Muzaffar

Office Hours: S/T/R 12:00-1:00

Web: http://drhanan.com

Contact Information:

    Email: mail@drhanan.com

    Mobile: 9989-3734


Course Description:

This course focuses on women's texts, both literary and theoretical, in a semi-chronological fashion. The aim is to study the developments within women's literature as they reflect on the development of women's thoughts, but also to be aware of modern and contemporary theoretical discourse around issues of women's literature and gender studies.



Gilbert, Sandra M and Susan Gubar. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women. NY: Norton, 1996.

Leitch, Vincent B. ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. NY: Norton, 2001.


Course Requirements/Grades:

10% In-Class Participation

You are expected to attend regularly and be an active member in class, participating every day to enrich our classroom discussions. You will not be judged for your opinions but will be expected to come to class everyday prepared with your reactions, questions and comments on the assigned readings.

10% Forum Participation

Once you send me your contact information, I will send you a username and password to join the forum. Check the forum at least once a week and be prepared to enter at least one significant post for each topic I leave there. Use proper English only. A short paragraph is all that is needed when you post in the forum as this is a place to interact with your classmates. Do not use the forum as a chat session or a place to exchange pleasantries.

10% Presentation

Groups will be assigned during the first week depending on class size. Present the texts to be covered on that day in around 10 minutes. Your presentation should introduce the classmates to the writers we are discussing on the day, and brief information on the texts themselves. Prepare a one page outline presenting the main points you presented to be handed to your colleagues in class. At the end of your presentation, you are left to manage the class, with my help if needed, any way you see fit. You can either form a question/answer session to test your colleagues grasp of the material, open the discussion for your colleagues to argue, or come up with your own way to manage the remaining 30 minutes or so. Email me your outline as an attachment. You are not allowed to use this work for your personal response.

10% Responses

You must submit 4 personal responses of two pages (600-800 words) each throughout the course: 2 before the midterm, 2 before the final. Make your own choice based on what work appeals to you. These will be personal interactions to the assigned readings, not a summary of what you read. Feel free to comment, argue, and relate what you read to other material or ideas. Follow paper writing guidelines in website. Save your work as word document and send as email attachment to mail@drhanan.com before we discuss the texts in class.

This grade will also include any essays you are required to write in class.

10% Final Paper (due 3 June)

8 pages (around 2400-3200 words) analysis of a work of literature by a woman not presented in class. This paper should focus on arguing how this work can be seen within the discourse of women and gender studies. Refer to the Writer's Guide found in your course's main webpage for further instructions on writing these papers. At least 2 secondary sources required. These do not include internet located articles but must be derived from books or journals. Refer to the Library Search section under the Writer's Guide for further instructions on how to look for articles in journals. Save your work as word document and send as email attachment to mail@drhanan.com.

5% Final Paper Draft (due 20 May)

This is your paper in process. It does not need to be the completed project. But I must see, in this draft, all your major ideas and your supporting arguments. I need to find your thesis statement, even if you will need to edit it and change it once you submit your final paper. I also need to see the sources you are using, even if they are not yet properly integrated in the paper. Save your work as word document and send as email attachment to mail@drhanan.com.

5% Final Paper Presentation

You have 3 to 5 minutes to present your paper. I will not allow you to exceed 5 minutes. And will deduct marks if you go under 3 minutes. Be specific in your presentation of the paper, not just offering a general thesis of your paper, but also providing some of the example and/or sources you are using in your paper. You are allowed to read directly from a prepared paper if you are more comfortable with that.

20% Midterm Exam (15 April)

The exam will be made of two parts.

Part one: Choose 5 questions to answer in 1-3 sentences each.

part two: Choose one question to answer in the form of and essay of 2 pages, double-spaced.

20% Final Exam (12 June)

This follows the same pattern of the midterm exam.


Writing Skills:

Avoid Plagiarism: You plagiarize when you present any information in your paper that is not yours without properly referencing it. Whether that information is quoted directly, paraphrased, or summarized, you have to follow it with parenthetical references immediately, not just list the source at the end of the paper. Your first attempt at plagiarizing will earn you a zero for that assignment. If you plagiarize again, you will earn an F for the course.

All submitted material (responses, research paper and draft) should be typed using font size 12 Times New Roman, double-spaced, on A4 size papers with 1" margins on each side.

Your name, teacher's name, course title and number, and date should appear on the left-hand side of the paper. The title should be centered under that, using the same size font.

Save the file as a word document and send to my email (mail@drhanan.com) by the due date.

Click here to download a paper template with the correct format. Delete the Works Cited page if not needed.



The teacher reserves the right to make changes in the division of grades and syllabus. You will be notified of such changes in due time. 

And finally, I hope we all have fun and enjoy what we’re reading. My aim is for you to leave class wanting to read more, and being able to do so with more of a critical eye. But most of all enjoy reading.