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19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN WOMEN'S RHETORIC--Pr. Bizzell--Fall 2000 Office hours: Fenwick 214, Tuesday and Thursday 3-5, Wednesday 1-5 and by appointment; office phone x 2524, email: [email protected] Women have been silenced in Western culture from the beginning. Rarely have women been permitted to speak their minds in public, unless they happened to be queens or prisoners in the dock. Women's access to written expression has also been limited, first, by lack of education: in Shakespeare's time, only about 20 % of European women were sufficiently literate to write their names. Women who pushed against these restrictions were accused of being sluts in search of illicit sexual attention, or worse, witches in league with the Devil. Of course, women have never passively accepted these restrictions, and the history of women's attempts to exercise the persuasive verbal power we call rhetoric, both in speaking and in writing, is rich and fascinating. We will concentrate in this course on looking at how women came to find public voices in one particular time and place: the United States in the nineteenth century. Women who spoke out in nineteenth-century America did so on behalf of social justice. They were motivated by concern for a variety of social causes, which, interestingly enough, did not at first include feminist reform. The first American woman public speaker, Maria W. Stewart, was an African American concerned primarily to motivate free Black people to work for their own civil rights and for the abolition of slavery. But women quickly found that in order to win public acceptance of their social activist roles, they also had to advocate for women's rights. These European American and African American leaders formed what is now known as the "first wave" of American feminist thought. In this seminar, you will study the history of these women's efforts, and look at the lives, writings, and public oratory of selected leaders in depth. Required Texts (in the Holy Cross Bookstore): Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs. Man Cannot Speak for Her, Volume I: A Critical Study of Early Feminist Rhetoric and Volume II: Key Texts of the Early Feminists. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1989. Logan, Shirley Wilson. With Pen and Voice: A Critical Anthology of Nineteenth-Century African-American Women. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1995. Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart. The Silent Partner. 1871; rpt. New York: Feminist Press, 1983. Royster, Jacqueline Jones. Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African American Women. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000. Watkins, Frances Ellen Watkins. Iola Leroy. 1892; rpt. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.


Assignments As a seminar, this course will provide you with a variety of ways to learn, reflect, and express what you are learning. First and foremost will be finding your own voice and participating actively in each class. I will also ask you to attend several co-curricular activities that I hope will enrich your learning. Class journal: You will keep a class journal in which you reflect on our course work and co-curricular events, connect them to readings you have done for other courses, your own experience, current events, song lyrics, and more. Each journal, I expect, will be unique. Key is to write in it weekly; I will collect it every Tuesday beginning on September 5. The journal may be hand-written or typed, and may be submitted in a small (one-subject) spiral notebook or on loose pages. Hour exam: You will write three hour exams: one on analyzing a speech; one on the Royster book; and one on the two novels with which we will conclude our course. The third of these will be written during the final exam period; there will be no cumulative final exam in this course. Seminar paper: You will write a seminar paper on the author of your choice (see separate handout). Grading Seminar paper = 50 % (for further break-down, see handout) Hour exams = 3 @ 10 % each Class journal, attendance and participation = 20 % Syllabus NOTE: on dates when individual authors are listed, you should read all speeches by each person in Campbell Vol. II and/or Logan and all introductory material on her in these texts. Week of: Aug. 29-31 Introduction: The Rhetorical Situation of Women in Nineteenth-Century America READ: Campbell Vol. I, Chapter 1; Bitzer (handout); Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood, 1820-1860" (in Dimity Convictions, on reserve). Sept. 5-7 Unit One: Early Feminist Rhetoric, an Overview READ Campbell Vol. I, Chapters 2-6.


Sept. 12-14 Unit One, continued. READ Campbell Vol. I, Chapters 7-12. Sept. 19-21 Unit Two: Early Feminist Rhetoric, In-depth 9/19: Maria W. Stewart, Sojourner Truth 9/21: Angelina Grimké, Sarah Grimké Sept. 26-28 Unit Two, continued. 9/26: HOUR EXAM on analyzing a speech 9/28: Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration Oct. 3-5 Unit Two, continued. 10/3, 5: Elizabeth Cady Stanton CO-CURRICULAR: film Not For Ourselves Alone COLUMBUS DAY BREAK Oct. 12 Unit Two, continued. 10/12: Susan B. Anthony Oct. 17-19 Unit Two, continued. 10/17: Frances Willard, Carrie Chapman Catt Unit Three: Special Contexts of African American Women's Rhetoric 10/19: READ Royster, Chapters 1, 2 CO-CURRICULAR: Oct. 21: play Angels and Infidels (Worcester Women's History Conference)

4 Oct. 24-26

Unit Three, continued. READ Royster, Chapters 3-5 Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Unit Three, continued. 10/31: HOUR EXAM on Royster Unit Four: African American Women's Rhetoric, In-depth 11/2: Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Ida B. Wells Nov. 7-9 Unit Four, continued. 11/7: Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell 11/9: Frances E. W. Harper Nov. 14-16 Unit Five: Fictional Representations of Women's Activism READ The Silent Partner Nov. 21 Unit Five, continued; Silent Partner, continued. THANKSGIVING BREAK Nov. 28-30 Unit Five, continued. READ Iola Leroy; Royster Chapter 6. HOUR EXAM on the novels, at final exam time (TBA) SEMINAR PAPER DUE at final exam time


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