Mothers and Daughters (ROMLG-375)

The Hijab Series: Boushra Almutawakel

Photo credit: Boushra Almutawakel, The Hijab Series

Instructor: Elissa Gelfand

Cross-listed as: FREN-321, ITAL-361, and SPAN-360

The mother-daughter relationship is crucial to the development of female identity. It can be joyous, problematic, or both. And, it has inspired numerous works of fiction, film, and art in Romance cultures.

This advanced seminar explores the mother-daughter bond as a literary theme, social institution, psychological dynamic, and metaphor for female creativity. We begin with founding myths and influential historical, psychological, and sociological perspectives that have shaped the Western conception of this bond. We then examine novels, films, and paintings by French, Italian, and Spanish-speaking women grouped cross-culturally by theme: maternal legacies, surrogate mothers, sexuality, class, compassion and comprehension, and motherlands. Writers include Colette, Fabrizia Ramondino, Annie Ernaux, Carmen Martín Gaite, Elena Ferrante, and Nina Bouraoui; films include Children of Montmartre, My Mother Likes Women, Delwende, Nasty Love, and Indochine.

The course is taught in English. Students wishing to receive credit for Romance Languages, French, Italian, Spanish must do their work in the target language. Please see the selecting courses page for more details on the advanced seminar.