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LIT 63 — “New Women” in the Jazz Age: The Great Gatsby and Passing

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 2
Time: 6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jun 30
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $315
Instructor(s): Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Jun 28—Aug 2
6 weeks
Refund Date
Jun 30
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The concept of the New Woman captures the ways in which women achieved considerable freedoms and independence in the Roaring Twenties. It was a time when conventions were broken. Whether wearing short dresses, cropping their hair, dancing at jazz clubs, or winning the right to vote, women enjoyed unprecedented social, political, and cultural mobility during this period in American history.

This course will give students an opportunity to learn more about the New Woman through the study of two influential literary works published in the 1920s: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Passing by Nella Larsen. Larsen is one of the most celebrated African American women writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and Fitzgerald is considered one of the great writers who explored the excesses of the Jazz Age. These novels depict complex portrayals of the New Woman at the intersection of race and class in 1920s America. The class will also cover comic strips published in the 1920s on the topic of the New Woman and film productions of both The Great Gatsby and Passing. Students will engage in readings and discussions that explore the ways in which these novels and related material promoted and critiqued the idea of the New Woman.

Lecturer in Civic, Liberal, and Global Education, Stanford

Dharshani Lakmali Jayasinghe has taught interdisciplinary humanities courses since 2004 and has been teaching at Stanford since 2014. She is an associate of the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar “Unbordering Migration in the Americas” at the University of Rochester, a senior editor of the Stanford International Policy Review, and an assistant editor of the Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia. She received a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford and has published in Law & Literature and Routed.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition (ISBN 978-1982146702)
(Required) Nella Larsen, Passing (ISBN 978-0142437278)