Women Authors You've Never Heard Of

OSH 583 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English

Course Description:

Last Spring's course "If History Were 'Herstory" barely scratched the surface of the contributions women have made in a wide variety of fields that have been overlooked by His-story. Students who took it asked for more, so this course in the "Herstory" series is devoted to "Women in Literature." Women have been writing as long or longer than men have. Yet the barriers to women expressing themselves through the written word were so high that in some cases women were forced to use a male pseudonym to be published. We'll examine the earliest known writings by women in a variety of genres, including the first woman poet (Enheduanna, c. 2300 BCE); playwright (Elizabeth Cary, 1585-1639); and authoress to make her living by her writing (Aphra Behn, c. 1640-1689). We’ll explore how recovering the writing of largely forgotten women poets, diarists, dramatists, essayists, novelists, and other literary works enrich our understanding of history and culture.

Week 1 Pray-ers and poets: Hymns by Her.

Week 2 Dear Diary: When Private Reflections and Memoirs (Sometimes) Go Public.

Week 3 Idealists and Ideologues: Women with a Cause – Essays, “belles lettres” and political tracts.

Week 4 Making a Long Story Short: Some Great Short Stories and the Women who Wrote Them.

Week 5 Novel Approaches: Women Novelists of the 17th -19th century.

Week 6 Dramatists and Playwrights.


Instructor:  Dr. Marsha Cohen


To increase Font size, press the following keys at the same time:

Ctrl and +



This course is available as part of the following:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Courses
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all OLLI at UM fall courses will be taught remotely, via Zoom.

OLLI 2020-2021 Membership is required to take this course and will be added to your cart upon enrollment. If you already have purchased a membership, you will not be charged for this membership.
OLLI 2020-2021 Membership Added to cart upon enrollment.
Starts: 8/1/2020 Ends: 7/31/2021