By Michelle Lecumberry, Design Editor and Emily Slater, News Editor
Katerina Wagaman, interview courtesy
Women are a crucial part of history. Nevertheless, women are often forgotten even though they are usually the game changers.
Next semester, Lone Star College-Kingwood English Professor Joan McAninch Samuelson has a mission to bring back women’s’ writers who are often forgotten and left out of the narrative.
Samuelson said, “That’s what I want to show the students. They may think they know some famous women in history. They may not know that in their own time they were also known as brilliant writers, but that got lost due to prejudice.”
Samuelson’s English 2341 class is designed to empower women and teach them about their history. Students can sign up for the fall class now.
“I don’t want someone who’s just looking for a class…I want students who are interested, men and women…interested in literature…history…in women’s’ struggle,” Samuelson said.
Samuelson said the best Women’s Studies students are men. “ You don’t get the men involved in the marches if you yell at their faces. That’s what happened in the 70s and that’s why the movements lost ground with the men.”
The Women Writers course (ENGL 2341) will be offered during Fall 2017 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:00-11:50 a.m.
Isabella Arguello, first-year student, said, “I want to major in creative writing and having a women’s writing class would be a really great experience for me and other women.”
Rose Koch, first-year student, said, “Knowing more about women writers is important.”
“I will be really interested in the women’s writing class because I think that women are often overlooked in terms of literature and that is really important to bring women to the spotlight to promote women into writing more,” Koch said.
This class includes literature from women such as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and more.
Cara Young, first-year student, said, “The class [Women Writers], to me as a woman writer, is meant to give names such as Hemingway and Hughes someone to stack up with. Ladies like Mary Shelley, Louisa May Alcott, and Maya Angelou deserve the respect their work inspired, and I’m happy to see someone taking an interest in it.”
Women writers using a man’s “nom de plume” is not outdated. J.K. Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter novel series, used her initials because her publisher, Barry Cunningham, thought Harry Potter’s targeted young male audience might be put off by a book written by a woman. This phenomenon is nothing new. Charlotte Brontë, the writer of the classic novel Jane Eyre, had to publish her books as Currer Bell for her work to be taken seriously. Louisa May Alcott wrote gothic thrillers as A.M. Barnard, because that genre was considered “unladylike.”
“The class [Women Writers] helps women feel empowered and intelligent. It is a class that celebrates women’s’ excellence and changes and enhances the perception of writers in history,” Emory Aguilar, first-year student, said.
“New generations are born into equality and diversity, but [women] still have to fight some battles,” Samuelson said. “I need my students to understand, I’ve taught this class for years, but it’s never been more important than it is right now.”
To enroll in the class, students must have completed both English 1301 and 1302. The students interested must want to work with other people. It is both a history class and a writing class. Students read great works and then write about them. Aside from the the few essay assignments, students will also be required to keep a journal about their thoughts on their readings. Enrollment is now open.