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WMN4940 - Lovers and Letters: Researching Private Lives

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Not offered in 2007


Who keeps their letters? Who burns them? And why do researchers want to read them? This unit introduces students to a range of scholarly debates concerning research on private lives and personal papers. Utilising the insights of feminist and poststructuralist thinkers, the unit will examine the uses of gossip, letters, diaries, private papers and ephemera in the production of women's life narratives. It will simultaneously critique the role and motivation of the feminist scholar in locating, reading and interpreting 'the intimate archive'. The unit will encompass theoretical and critical material in addition to autobiographical, biographical and fictional works.


Bibliographic exercise (2500-3000 words): 30%
Essay based on independent research (5000 words): 50%
Seminar presentation (equivalent to 1000 words): 20%


A major course of study in History or Women's Studies, or permission