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Card-index course

The poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson

Modernist Women's Erotic Writing

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Arts

Teacher(s): Kevin Curran
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2018 -> 2018

No timetable defined.


Spring semester
2 hours per week
28 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): English
Public: Yes
Credits: 4.00
Course notes: Yes


In this course we will reflect on the ways female modernists write the erotic into their texts, focusing on how the literary experimentalism of modernism gave them access to new ways to write about desire, sex and sexuality. A primary aim of our seminars will be to come to our own definition of what erotic literature is - is the erotic a genre in its own right? Is it a style? Is it gendered? - so that we can then explore how these female writers might be becoming a part of (or indeed, creating) an erotic tradition. Reflecting on what is new and innovative in their writings, whilst at the same time observing how their works interrelate to literary traditions, will be an important aspect of this course.

Required Reading:

Georges Bataille, 'Introduction' in L'Erotism (1957), trans. by Mary Dalwood, pp. 11-25.
Roland Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text (1973), trans. by Richard Miller
Bradford K. Mudge, 'Eros and Literature' (2017), in The Cambridge Companion to Erotic Literature, pp. 1-16.
Katherine Mansfield, 'An Indiscreet Journey' (1915) and 'Bliss' (1918)
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse [any edition you like]
Mary Butts, 'Speed the Plough' (1921)
Djuna Barnes, 'A Night Among the Horses' (1918)
Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (London: Faber and Faber, 2007)
Jean Rhys, 'At the Villa d'Or' (1927)
Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight (Harmondsworth: Penguin Modern Classics, 2000)
Elizabeth Bowen, 'Foothold' (1929)

Additional information


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15