Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Seminar. 2 hours per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 5,000 word essay  Essay: 
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:


The writing emerging from the women's movement in the 1970s and 1980s demonstrated a collective refusal to be shut out of any kind of discourse; political, theoretical, fictional or poetical. The women who were part of the women's liberation movement refused to be intimidated by experts. We questioned everything that had been said or written about women. If we wanted to read something about our lives, then we had to write it ourselves. The interlinking of political discussion, theoretical reflection, direct action and imaginative writing is a phenomenon common to many revolutionary movements, and it is this that has given British feminism its radical edge. The project of feminist writing was both to think and to write differently, thus an emerging political theory produced new forms of writing which transformed or challenged genres and styles.

This module is an introduction to the writing and ideas of women who were part of that struggle. I have grouped the module texts loosely around issues that were crucial within the British women's movement, the debates around which generated original theoretical persepctives and new forms and themes within feminist writing.

1. Introduction: The British Women's Liberation Movement

Germaine Greer "The Female Eunuch" (1970); see also 'The Slag Heap Erupts' from "The Madwoman's Underclothes" (1986);
Kate Millett, "Sexual Politics" (1970); Lilian Mohin, ed, "One Foot on the Mountain: British Feminist Poetry" 1969-1979 (1979);
Rhonda Cobham and Merle Collins, eds, "Watchers and Seekers: Creative Writing by Black Women in Britain" (1987)

2. Sexuality and Identity

"Heterosexuality": "A Feminism and Psychology Reader" Eds. Celia Kitizinger & Sue Wilkinson (1993); "Theorising
Heterosexuality", ed, Diane Richardson (1996); and "Love Your Enemy? The Debate between Heterosexual Feminism and
Political Lesbianism" (1981); Audre Lorde "Zami: A New Spelling of My Name" (1982); Mary Dorcey "A Noise From the
Woodshed" (1989) and/or "Biography of Desire" (1998)

3. Feminist Fiction and Feminist Theology: Rewriting Myths

Mary Daly "Beyond God the Father: Towards a Philosophy of Women's Liberation" (1973) and Daphne Hampson "Theology
and Feminism" (1990); Sara Maitland "Telling Tales" (1983) 'Lilith', 'Of Deborah and Jael' and 'The Lady Artemis' and "A Book
of Spells" (1987) 'Triptych'; Michelene Wandor "Gardens of Eden" (1984); Michele Roberts, "The Wild Girl" (1984)

4. The Pornography Debate: Theory and Thrillers

Andrea Dworkin "Pornography: Men Possessing Women" (1981); Eds. Lynne Segal and Mary McIntosh "Sex Exposed:
Sexuality and the Pornography Debate" (1992); Sarah Dunant, "Transgressions" (1997)

5. The Literature of Resistance: Sexual Violence

Liz Kelly "Surviving Sexual Violence" (1988); Deborah Cameron and Elizabeth Frazer "The Lust to Kill" (1987); Anna Wilson
"Altogether Elsewhere" (1985)


This module is at CQFW Level 7