LIT3055 : Women/Self/Writing: Women's Autobiography, c.1400 - Present

Convener(s): Dr Nicky Hallett


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

Auto/biography is one of the most avidly read genres in English yet it has rarely appeared on the literary studies curriculum. This module will explore the ways in which the Self is written and gender is manifested in both non-fiction and creative work, to ask how women self-write and to consider the politics affecting personal expressiveness, ‘identity’ and self-hood across several centuries. We’ll study a range of women’s writing (including diaries, letters, poetry and fiction, as well as auto/biography), to explore the relationship between the self and the text, following a chronological route from the later medieval period to the present. We’ll focus on themes that raise issues on the history of the Self and its relationship to literary subjectivity, considering, for example, how the fictive and the autobiographical connect; how personal experience responds to, shapes, or resists theory; how issues of race, class and sexuality might complicate the construction of gender. Among other topics, we’ll consider the impact of Modernism, Postmodernism and new technologies (like Facebook, Second Life) on the formation and expression of self-hood.


There is one lecture-discussion and one seminar a week.


Two essays (40% and 50% respectively), and seminar work (10%) based on permissive and very informal contributions during the module as a whole. If you wish, your final essay can be a piece of self-writing, weighing up theories against your own experience.

Contact Details

Dr Nicky Hallett

Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:16 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK