21G.022J | Spring 2004 | Undergraduate

International Women's Voices


The books read in this course vary somewhat from term to term.

Readings by Class Session



Film “A Veiled Revolution”

Required Readings

Rifaat, Alifa. Distant View of the Minaret. New York: Quartet Books, 1983.

Supplementary Readings

Allende, Isabel. “Pinochet Without Hatred.” The New York Times (January 17, 1999): 25-27.

Garibay, Ricardo. “Pablo Neruda’s Funeral.” New York: Entelechy Press Corp., 1973. (transcript of recording of funeral)

2 Distant View of the Minaret

Required Readings

Distant View of the Minaret. (cont.)

Supplementary Readings

Crossette, Barbara. “Testing the Limits of Tolerance as Cultures Mix: Does Freedom Mean Accepting Rituals that Repel the West?” The New York Times (March 6, 1999): A15, and A17.

Inda, Jules. “Behind the Veil Debate.” Utne Reader (March/April 1992): 23-24.

Lerner, George. “To Us, Women’s Liberation is the Unveiling of the Mind.” The Progressive (April 1992): 32-35.

Thompson, Ginger. “No U.S. Asylum for a Woman Threatened with Genital Cutting.” The New York Times (April 25, 1999): 27-28.

3 Distant View of the Minaret (cont.)

Required Readings

El Saadawi, Nawal. Woman at Point Zero. New Jersey: Zed Books, 1983.


Woman at Point Zero

Teaching Group

Required Readings

Ba, Mariama. So Long a Letter. Oxford: Heinemann, 1989.

Supplementary Readings

Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

Dallal, Jenine Abboushi. “The Perils of Occidentalism: How Arab Novelists are Driven to Write for Western Readers.” The Islamic World (April 24, 1998): 8-9.

Gocek, Fatma Muge, and Shiva Balaghi, eds. Reconstructing Gender in the Middle East. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

5 Woman at Point Zero (cont.)

Required Readings

So Long a Letter. (cont.)

6 So Long a Letter

Supplementary Readings

Esonwanne, Uzo. “Enlightenment Epistemology and ‘Aesthetic Cognition’: Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter.” The Politics of (M)Othering: Womanhood, Identity, and Resistance in African Literature. pp. 82-100.

Nnaemeka, Obioma. “Urban Spaces, Women’s Places: Polygamy as Sign in Mariama Bâ’s Novels.” The Politics of (M)Othering: Womanhood, Identity, and Resistance in African Literature. pp. 162-191.

7 So Long a Letter (cont.)

Required Readings

Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions. London: Women’s Press, 2001.

8 Nervous Conditions

Required Readings

Nervous Conditions. (cont.)

Supplementary Readings

Basu, Biman. “Trapped and Troping: Allegries of the Transnational Intellectual in Tsitsi Dangaremba’s Nervous Conditions." ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 28, no. 3 (July 1997): 7-24.

Gorle, Gilian. “Fighting the Good Fight: What Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions Says About Language and Power.” Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions: Language and Power. pp. 179, and 192.

Moyana, Rosemary. “Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions: an Attempt in the Feminist Tradition.” Zambezia. 1994, XXI (1), pp. 23-42.

Nair, Supriya. “Melancholic Women: The Intellectual Hysteric(s) in Nervous Conditions.”  Research in African Literatures. pp. 130-139.

Uwakweh, Pauline A. “Debunking Patriarchy: The Liberational Quality of Voicing in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions.” Research in African Literatures. pp. 75-84.

9 Nervous Conditions (cont.)

Required Readings

Nervous Conditions. (cont.)

11 Nervous Conditions (cont.)

Required Readings

Altman, David. “For Chinese Women’s Ears Only.” The Christian Science Monitor. 11 Oct. 1995.

Barlow, Tani E., ed. Gender Politics in Modern China: Writing and Feminism. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993.

Book Reviews: “The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices.” The New Yorker, Publisher’s Weekly, and Kirkus Review.

Chinese History: Time line: 1921- present.

Dai, Jinhua, and Mayfair Yang. “A Conversation with Huang Shuqing.” Positions. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995, pp. 790-805.

Liu, Kang, and Tang Xiobing, eds. Politics, Ideology and Literary Discourse in Modern China. Durham: Duke University Press, 1993.

Liu, Lydia. “The Female Body and Nationalist  Discourse: The Field of Life and Death Revistied.” In Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices. Edited by Inderpal Grewal, and Caren Kaplan. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, pp. 37-62.

Confucius. The Analects. (Selections)

Teng, Jinhua Emma. “The Construction of the ‘Traditional Chinese Woman’ in the Western Academy: A Critical Review.” Signs (Autumn, 1996): 115-151.

Wolf, Margery, and Roxanne Witke, eds. Women in Chinese Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1975.

Women in China: Free Market Outcasts.” Revolutionary Worker Online.

Yang, Gladys. “A New Woman Writer Chen Rong and Her Story ‘At Middle Age.’” In Chinese Literature. Vol. 10. Beijing, China, 1980.


Chinese Short Stories

Teaching Group

Required Readings

Yang, Gladys. “A New Woman Writer Chen Rong and Her Story ‘At Middle Age’.” In Chinese Literature 10, 1980. Beijing, China.

13 Chinese Film

Required Readings

Atwood, Margaret. Oryx and Crake. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2003.


To Live. Directed by Zhang Yimou.

Woman, Demon, Human. Directed by Huang Shuqing.


Oryx and Crake

Teaching Group

Required Readings

Oryx and Crake._(cont.)

15 Oryx and Crake (cont.)

Required Readings

Oryx and Crake. (cont.)

17 Margaret Atwood in Class

Required Readings

Xinran. The Good Women of China. New York: Pantheon Books, 2002.


The Good Women of China

Teaching Group

Required Readings

The Good Women of China.(cont.)

19 The Good Women of China (cont.)

Required Readings

Allende, Isabel. House of the Spirits. New York: Bantam Books, 1986.


House of the Spirits

Teaching Group

Required Readings

House of the Spirits. (cont.)

21 House of the Spirits (cont.)

Required Readings

House of the Spirits. (cont.)

22 House of the Spirits (cont.)

Required Readings

House of the Spirits. (cont.)

23 House of the Spirits (cont.)

Required Readings

House of the Spirits. (cont.)

25 Japanese Films

Required Readings

Yoshimoto, Banana. Kitchen. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

Supplementary Readings

Carter, Albert H.

“Review of Kitchen.” Studies in Short Fiction (1993): 614-615.

Gelb, Joyce, and Marian Lief Palley, eds. Women of Japan and Korea: Continuity and Change. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.

Fujimura-Fanselow, Kumiko, and Atsuko Kameda, eds. Japanese Women: New Feminist Perspectives on the Past, Present and Future. New York: City University of New York Feminist Press, 1995.

Garrison, Deborah. “Day-O!” New Yorker 68 (January 25, 1993): 109.

Iwao, Sumiko. The Japanese Woman: Traditional Image and Changing Reality. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Kristof, Nicholas D. “In Japan, Brutal Comics for Women.” The New York Times (November 5, 1995): 1, and 6.

Kusaka, Kimindo. “Do Japanese women Want Total Equality?” Economic Eye (June, 1984): 19-21.

Strauss, Neil. “A Japanese TV Show That Pairs Beauty and Pain.” The New York Times (July 14, 1998): 2. Section E.

Tolbert, Kathryn. “Career or Motherhood: Harsh Choice in Japan.” International Herald Tribune (Aug. 15, 2000.)



Teaching Group

Required Readings

Yoshimoto, Banana. “Moonlight Shadows.” In Kitchen. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

27 Moonlight Shadows

 Required Readings

“Moonlight Shadows” (cont.)


Last Day of Class

Final Discussion


Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2004
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Activity Assignments