Fall 2023

New Women in America

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-117


Wendy H. Bergoffen (Section 01)


This course will examine the emergence of the “New Woman” as a category of social theory, political action, and literary representation at the turning of the twentieth century. Early readings will trace the origins of the New Woman as a response to nineteenth-century notions of “True Womanhood.” Discussions will situate literary representations of women in larger cultural events taking place during the Progressive Era–debates over suffrage as well as their relationship to issues of citizenship, immigration, Jim Crow segregation, urbanization, and nativism. The course will focus on texts written by a diverse group of women that present multiple and, at times, conflicting images of the New Woman. Close attention will be paid to the manner in which these women writers constructed their fictions, particularly to issues of language, style, and form. Readings will include texts by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Pauline Hopkins, Anzia Yezierska, and Sui Sin Far.

Fall semester. Senior Lecturer Bergoffen.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Writing and collaborating are central practices and goals in this course. Students will write regularly--during class sessions, reflecting on discussions and course materials, and composing essays. Students will collaborate in small groups and participate in class discussions.

FYSE 117 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM CHAP 204
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM CHAP 204

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The Awakening Chopin, Kate Amherst Books TBD
Contending Forces Hopkins Pauline Amherst Books TBD
Arrogant Beggar Yezierska, Anzia Amherst Books TBD
Emma McChesney & Co. Ferber, Edna Amherst Books TBD
The House of Mirth Wharton, Edith Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024