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Approaches to Teaching Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-Paper" and Herland

Editor(s): Denise D. Knight, Cynthia J. Davis

Pages: xvii & 198 pp.
Published: 2003
ISBN: 9780873529006 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873529013 (hardcover)

"This long-awaited volume will be extraordinarily useful to teachers of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The essays model a most admirable kind of academic writing: they recognize the scholarly nature of pedagogy and hence serve both as practical resources for teachers (helping them develop syllabi, presentations, and assignments) and as exciting new contributions to the scholarship on Gilman."
Jennifer S. Tuttle, University of New England

Although the rediscovery in 1973 of the long-forgotten story "The Yellow Wall-Paper" (1892), by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, met an enthusiastic reception, no one expected the enormous impact it would have, resulting in dozens of articles and books, numerous dissertations, dramatizations on stage and in film, and inclusion in college literature anthologies. Not surprisingly, then, the story, often alongside Gilman's second-most-famous work, Herland (1915), is widely taught in a variety of disciplines: literature, composition, feminist theory, women's studies, psychology, history, sociology, religion--even geography. This volume in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching series addresses the rewards and challenges of teaching these two works and offers a practical and valuable resource for teachers who are new to Gilman as well as for experienced teachers looking for fresh approaches.

Like other volumes in the series, this one is divided into two parts. The "Materials" section discusses editions and anthologies; surveys other writings by Gilman; suggests background and critical studies of interest to students and teachers; and identifies an array of supplemetary materials: film adaptations of "The Yellow Wall-Paper"; historical documents on birth control and the eugenics and Socialist movements; women's magazines and handbooks published in Gilman's time; and related literary works by other women writers such as Harriet Beecher Stowe. The "Approaches" section contains twenty-one essays that look at the works from a variety of perspectives, for students on different levels in a range of courses.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Gilman's "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
and Herland

Denise D. Knight and Cynthia J. Davis

Paperback Editions and Anthologies
Further Readings for Students
Further Readings for Teachers
Background Studies
Critical Studies
Aids to Teaching


Issues in Teaching Gilman's Works

Texts and Contexts in Gilman's World: A Biographical Approach
Denise D. Knight

Ideology and Aesthetics in Teaching Gilman's Works
Gary Totten

Gilman's Socialism as Background to Her Writings
Mark W. Van Wienen

Placing Gilman in a Context of Intellectual Debate
Michael J. Kiskis

Teaching Gilman in the Context of Her Short Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction
Michelle N. McEvoy

Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper" through the Lens of Language
Catherine J. Golden

Finding Patterns in the Text: Close Reading "The Yellow Wall-Paper" as an Exercise
Michelle A. Massé

The Use of Audiovisual Material as an Aid in Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
Guiyou Huang

A Psychological Approach to Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
Judith Harris

Using Role-Playing in Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper"
Carol Farley Kessler and Priscilla Clement

Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper" through French Feminist Literary Criticism
Janet Gabler-Hover

Teaching Herland
Teaching Herland in Context
Melanie V. Dawson

This Land Is Herland, This Land Is Our Land? Teaching Herland in a Course on Community and Identity in American Literature
Wendy Ripley

Confronting Issues of Race, Class, and Ethnicity in Herland
Lisa Ganobcsik-Williams

The Intellectual Context of Herland: The Social Theories of Lester Ward
Gary Scharnhorst

Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland and the Gender of Science
Lisa A. Long

Teaching Gilman in Course Contexts
Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in an Introductory Literature Course
David Faulkner

Teaching the Politics of Difference and "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in Women's Literature Classes
Mary C. Carruth

Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in a Class on Women's Autobiography
Kara Virginia Donaldson

Teaching Herland in an American Literature Course
Joanne B. Karpinski

Teaching "The Yellow Wall-Paper" in the Context of American Literary Realism and Naturalism
Cynthia J. Davis

Works Cited

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© 2015 Modern Language Association. Last updated 02/24/2015.