The Female Coming-of-Age Novel רומן החניכה הנשי
BA Seminar סמינר בי.איי
Few literary conventions teach us as much about the culture that produced them as the coming-of-age plot. In charting the transition from childhood to adulthood, this plot explores the most basic definitions governing normative identity in a given social setting. For many years, however, discussion of this genre focused on male-authored texts, from Wilhelm Meister and David Copperfield, to Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Catcher on the Rye. This seminar will center, instead, on female-authored coming-of-age stories, and will address such questions as: what happens to this genre when it is appropriated by women? How is the "adult woman" defined in different historical moments? Are there common threads (mother-daughter relations, conflict between love and labor, paths of socialization and resistance) that connect older and contemporary writing about female maturation?
Requirements: active participation, preparation of study questions and oral presentation, and a seminar paper.
Texts will include works of fiction by Louisa May Alcott, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Sylvia Plath, and others.