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In contrast with stereotypical images of nineteenth-century women as homebound, fainting flowers, Victorian women writers built passionate plots upon the obstacles and ambitions that motivated women of their era to join labor movements, demand the vote, and fight for safety at work, custody of children, and access to education and employment. Their fiction, poetry, and drama rigorously explore the world around them. In this course, we will consider how cultural and psychological forces shaped both women’s lives and their writing. We will also ask how women writers’ used their art to challenge conventions and to advocate for change.