Welcome to Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English

The purpose of Options for Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English is to provide a resource for instructors at all levels and in many relevant fields for the teaching of women’s writing in modernist studies (primarily in English), including looking at current professional and pedagogical trends and new developments in the field. The audience for this title comprises, among others, teachers of undergraduate and graduate students; and of British and American/transatlantic/global/world literature, literary criticism/the history of literary criticism/feminist literary criticism, women’s/gender studies, gay and lesbian studies, queer studies, and modernist/20th-century studies.

Highlights include comparative, interdisciplinary, and intersectional approaches; a focus on the digital humanities and digital pedagogy; emphases on sexuality, class, race as well as global modernisms; responses to World War One and World War Two and the Spanish Civil War; and women writers’ engagements with popular culture, material culture, periodical culture, and the “middlebrow.” All of these are informed by the shifting scholarly landscape in modernist studies and evolving pedagogical practice, and they reflect the expanding of the field and its tensions to include previously neglected figures and questions and encompass multiple “modernisms” (high, inter, and late; geographical, temporal, and vertical).

This site began as a means of developing the content of the volume, as well as cultivating potential contributors and readers.  We have evolved the site into a companion digital hub for the volume which includes content that complements contributors’ individual essays.  Contributors whose work has a digital component, and those who wished to take advantage of the site due to space constraints in the print volume, have pages here; the list of contributors and chapters hosted here is by no means the contents of the volume in its entirety.

Material that serves to complement individual essays may be found under the vertical menu tab “Resources by Contributor/Chapter.”  These resources may also be discovered by type at the tab “Resources by Category”; categories include syllabi, recommended reading, digital collections, video and audio resources, websites, and events.  An “Essential Resources” menu tab collects much of this material, referenced throughout the volume and the field of modernist studies more broadly, in one convenient location in order to be useful to any instructor in any context.



  1. Thank you for your comment! The cross-cultural approach is an important one, and I’m hoping to receive proposals that show how modernist women writers in English were engaging with/responding to a globalized modernism. Pieces that work towards a definition of/teaching of “feminist form” would also be welcome!

  2. In a word or two…YES there is definitely interest, and NO this is not too pedagogical an approach! I would love to see an essay that offers precisely the claim you make: that “modernist texts in particular are rich for approaches to critical thinking skills.” Such an essay would provide insight into why we teach modernist texts, the particular benefits and challenges they bring to the classroom, and the issue you raise would resonate with a wide variety of readers and teachers, I’m sure. If you’d be interested in shaping a proposal along these lines, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  3. I think we would be willing to consider something along these lines if the following could possibly be borne in mind: 1) the last point about bridging the gap between HS and university-level teaching is especially salient, and situating the proposal in that context I think would be welcome; 2) if the potential audience could be possibly not only HS instructors but also faculty working in English Education — is there a way to engage those teaching the teachers in the field? Otherwise, I very much like the pairing of text and the visual arts, and I appreciate you already thinking about how you might include a discussion of student writing.

  4. These sound like they would fill a real need for the collection; I like the British-American intersections, particularly with a focus on the New Woman, an important topic that will need to be addressed. I’d encourage you to look at not only the CFP but the full proposal that was reviewed by the MLA (available for download). It might provide a helpful sense of where you might fit in.

  5. This is a good question. It depends on a few other factors, and an essay on a single author would not be ruled out at all just because it’s on a single author. Does the discussion of teaching that single author allow for the raising of interesting questions about the teaching of modernism, and are there broader conclusions to be drawn about that case? Has a particularly innovative pedagogy been developed that takes that author as its focus, and could suggestions be made that would allow others to try that pedagogy with other authors? (In other words, are the lessons learned from that single author applicable in other ways?) Has that single author been taught in a particularly interesting institutional context? Is that single author especially interesting because it allows for an especially fruitful intersection of theory and practice? I’ve gotten a few proposals that only deal with single authors, but elaborate an interesting and innovative teaching strategy that does not depend on that author for its implementation — the strategy could be used with other authors.

    If you’re not sure but have an idea you’d like to try out in more detail, or if you’ve got a draft on which you’d like feedback, please feel free to send it along — I’m happy to provide suggestions for revision if necessary before a proposal is submitted for final consideration.

  6. I think an abstract along the lines you are describing would certainly be worth considering. The focus on the essay as a genre, and the ways it can be used to teach not only the work of women writers but writing and discourse, would probably be of interest to many readers.

  7. Hello,
    I’m writing a dissertation on modern anxieties in the fiction of American Women Writers (Gilman, Cather, Jewett, and ??). I’ve been carful to focus on their fiction as it relates to the social issues that caused anxiety between 1880-1920(ish) rather than on formal innovation. To that end, I decided not to use the term modernist, which I’ve noticed tends to be associated with form and avant garde philosophy.

    I’m not sure if my work would be useful to your project(s), but I am glad to hear of new scholarship happening in this field.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Genevieve. I’m hoping we’ll have some news on the status of this project soon — I think your work on social issues in early 20th century women’s writing will certainly be of interest to our contributors, some of whom are hoping to make interventions along the same lines.

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