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WGSS 105
American Girlhoods Spring 2020 (also offered Fall 2019)
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 105 / ENGL 105 / AMST 105

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The image of the girl has captivated North American writers, commentators, artists, and creators of popular culture for at least the last two centuries. What metaphors, styles of writing, ideas of “manners and morals” does literature about girls explore? What larger cultural and aesthetic concerns are girls made to represent? And how is girlhood articulated alongside and/or intertwined with other identities and identifications, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality? These are some of the issues we will explore in this course.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3686
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: at least 20 pages of writing; short, more informal writing assignments; GLOW posts; class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students who do not have a 5 on the AP and/or have not previously taken a 100-level English class
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 105 Division II ENGL 105 Division I AMST 105 Division II
WS Notes: Students do at least 20 pages of writing (4-5 papers) and are required to revise several papers. We also devote significant class time to talking about successful academic writing. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.
DPE Notes: This course considers the construction of girlhood in the United States along the axes of race, gender, sexuality, class and more, and the literary history of who, in various moments in America, has even been allowed to claim the privileges of and/or be burdened with the idea of being a girl. It examines how girlhood is represented in relation to (in)equity and power and what kinds of literary and cultural forms writers utilize to illuminate these differences.
Attributes: AMST Arts in Context Electives

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