ENG 481 - Feminist & Avant-Garde Poetries of the 1970s - Spring 2008 - Prof. Steve Evans

Basic Course Information

ENG 481 (001): Topics in Women’s Literature
CRN: 36641
MWF 12:10-1pm, 210 Neville (note change)
Instructor: Associate Professor Steve Evans
Anticipated Size: 25
Prerequisite: 6 hours of literature
This course satisfies the General Education Ethics and Writing Intensive requirements.

Course Description

In this seminar-style course, we will explore a wide variety of women's poetry of the 1970s with a focus on the dynamic tensions that existed in this tumultuous decade between feminism and avant-gardism. Our overall objective will be to understand the historical horizons within which something that has come to be called a "feminist avant-garde" (re-)emerged in this decade. We'll pursue our objective by looking at how aesthetic, political, and cultural contradictions play out in the works of particular poets both well and lesser known. We will also study the specific means of cultural production and circulation that characterized the moment, paying special attention to the small presses and magazines, the poetry readings, and the reading groups that brought poetry before new audiences. Because "gender" is a relative term, our investigations into the shifting meanings of "femininity" will involve us equally in an exploration of how "masculinity" was constructed, critiqued, and transformed in this period.

Required Texts (in roughly the order you'll need them)

• S. Gilbert & S. Gubar, eds., Feminist Literary Theory & Criticism (978-0-393-92790-0)
• Florence Howe, ed., No More Masks, 2nd ed. (978-0-06-096517-4)
• Adrienne Rich, The Fact of a Door Frame (978-0-393-32395-5)
• Audre Lorde, Collected Poems (978-0-393-31972-9)
• Susan Howe, Frame Structures: Early Poems, 1974-1978 (978-0-8112-1322-6
• Bernadette Mayer, Midwinter Day (978-0-8112-1406-3)
• Nicole Brossard, Blue Books (978-1-55245-120-5)


Frequent brief writing assignments, presentations, and class participation, plus a final paper or project to be shaped in consultation with instructor.

Note on Summer Conference

The seminar may be of especial interest to students who plan to be in Orono in the summer of 2008, when the National Poetry Foundation will host a five-day conference on the Poetry of the 1970s. For more information, contact Professor Evans.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes cheating, plagiarism, and all forms of misrepresentation in academic work, and is unacceptable at the University of Maine. As stated in the online undergraduate Student Handbook, plagiarism (the submission of another's work without appropriate attribution) and cheating are violations of the Student Conduct Code. An instructor who has probable cause or reason to believe a student has cheated may act upon such evidence and should report the case to the supervising faculty member or the Department Chair for appropriate action.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please contact Ann Smith, Director of Disabilities Services, 121 East Annex, 581-2319, at the earliest possible opportunity.

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