'Overturning the Home': a study of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
Time: 10:30 - 15:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HLT02
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course will develop ideas and understanding around the questioning of the domestic and traditional constructs and how this impacts female identity. Using close consideration of the literature, we will study how Robinson uses the intimate spaces and relationships to overturn assumptions around parenting, the home and our relationship to the natural world.
In Marilynne Robinson's haunting first work, each line is so carefully crafted and ice-sharp. Through Ruth's narration we learn more about the impermanence of things- people, places, home- and watch her struggle to adulthood with the awareness that nothing stays in place. Ruth's Aunt Sylvie tries to guide her, but Sylvie cannot break the habits of transience: crackers in her pocket, coat always worn inside, shoes under her pillow- ultimately the home they share welcomes the outdoors- leaves rattle in the corners, birds nest in the cupboards. There is a freedom found here- and this book reveals profound possibilities in a spare world.
Please read the text beforehand in preparation for the course.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
Biblical allusions in late modern literature, importance of place in American literature, madness as gendered, female struggle for voice, American identities, permeable boundaries between reality and illusion.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Consider the limitations of the traditional domestic realm
• Discuss varying perspectives on family relationships
• Understand the unique insights and craft of Mairlynne Robinson
• Understand how Biblical stories may be woven into a contemporary text.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is geared for both the first time and repeating reader.
Skills required include the ability and willingness to read the text, exchange responses and questions to it and listen in an open and supportive way to the responses of others.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Please read the text in preparation for the course to get maximum enjoyment out of the discussions. The course will include tutor input, large and small group discussions, dramatic readings, and sharing of creative responses. There will be close readings of extracts of the text as well as optional reading of critical and contextual sources.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please buy or borrow and read in preparation for the course:
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (Faber & Faber 2005)
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please see Literature courses on our website, www.citylit.ac.uk/courses under History, Culture and Writing/Literature.