According to Thomas Hardy biographer, Claire Tomalin, Hardy's relationship with strong-minded and intelligent women began with his mother, Jemima Hand Hardy. As Tomalin argues, Jemima and both of Hardy's grandmothers had flouted the rules on sexual behavior laid down by the Church and gentry. In this course we will trace the way in which Hardy's early encounters with these fundamentally important maternal figures affected his life and work, his two marriages, and his fictional representations of women and male and female relationships. We will employ several theoretical approaches-intersectionality, masculinity studies, queer theory, and affect theory-in our readings of three of Hardy's novels, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895), as well as a variety of poems Hardy wrote after the death of his first wife, Emma, in 1912. We will also consider feminist approaches to film analysis, as we view scenes from various cinematic adaptations of the novels under discussion. *This particular seminar may alternatively count as pre-1900 credit for English majors.
Location & Meeting Time
Integrated Science & Engineering Complex-387+ T/TH 10:55AM-12:40PM