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For the first time, this volume brings together essays by feminist, Americanist, and theater scholars who apply a variety of sophisticated critical approaches to Susan Glaspell’s entire oeuvre. Glaspell’s one-act play, “Trifles,” and the short story that she constructed from it, “A Jury of Her Peers,” have drawn the attention of many feminist critics, but the rest of her writing—the short stories, plays and novels—is largely unknown. The essays gathered here will allow students of literature, women’s studies and theater studies an insight into the variety and scope of her oeuvre.
Glaspell’s political and literary thinking was radicalized by the turbulent Greenwich Village environment of the first decades of the twentieth century, by progressive-era social movements and by modernist literary and theatrical innovation. The focus of Glaspell studies has, till recently, been dominated by the feminist imperative to recover a canon of silenced women writers and, in particular, to restore Glaspell to her rightful place in American drama. Transcending the limitations generated by such a specific agenda, the contributors to this volume approach Glaspell’s work as a dialogic intersection of genres, texts, and cultural phenomena—a method that is particularly apt for Glaspell, who moved between genres with a unique fluidity, creating such modernist masterpieces as The Verge or Brook Evans. This volume establishes Glaspell’s work as an “intersection of textual surfaces,” resulting for the first time in the complex aesthetic appreciation that her varied life’s work merits.
Motherhood in Sylvia Plath’s Work
Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking delves deeply into the notion of motherhood in Sylvia Plath’s work in order to redeem Plath from the one-dimensional role assigned to her of the suicidal, father-obsessed poet. Written from the theoretical perspective of Julia Kristeva’s theory of subject formation, the book focuses on Plath’s baby poems in which mother figures are seen as subjects-in-process oscillating between authentication and non-authentication in motherhood. Furthermore, since the mother is always a daughter, part of the discussion centers on Plath’s daughterhood poetry in which daughter figures are engaged in an endless struggle to release themselves from a suffocating maternal hold and achieve their own linguistic individuation. Finally Plath’s works for children, The Bed Book, The-It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit, “Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen”, as well as her fairy tale poems, largely ignored until now, are read as manifestations of the self’s regressive journey to “once below a time” to grasp an elusive pre-symbolic organization and take signification back to infancy. The book makes extensive use of Plath’s drafts, mainly of the Ariel poems, her recycled materials, annotated books from her personal library, published and unpublished material from The Lilly Library Archive, The Mortimer Rare Book Room, and The Ted Hughes Archive in Emory.
Le présent ouvrage reprend en termes contemporains le dialogue littéraire entamé de leur vivant par Balzac et Sand et revient sur les notions d’origine et de genèse telles qu’elles se déploient chez ces deux auteurs. La discussion engage les champs romanesque, individuel, social et politique, rapprochant et parfois opposant deux écrivains d’une fécondité exceptionnelle, l’un catalogué comme réaliste, l’autre comme idéaliste, mais tous deux inséparables de leurs origines romantiques et de la coupure révolutionnaire. C’est ainsi que leur œuvre comporte une profonde réflexion sur le rapport de l’artiste à la tradition et à la nouveauté – à la production et à la reproduction, qu’il s’agisse de création artistique, de rapports de filiation ou de mutations politiques. En oeuvrant sur l’idée de genèse, le roman investit le corps féminin, la différence des sexes, le désir et la Loi.
Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry
Volume Editor: Anne Digby
This innovative collection of essays employs historical and sociological approaches to provide important case studies of asylums, psychiatry and mental illness in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Leading scholars in the field working on a variety of geographical, temporal, socio-cultural, economic and political contexts, show how class and gender have historically affected and conditioned the thinking, language, and processes according to which society identified and responded to the mentally ill. Contributors to this volume focus on both class and gender and thus are able to explore their interaction, whereas previous publications addressed class or gender incidentally, partially, or in isolation. By adopting this dual focus as its unifying theme, the volume is able to supply new insights into such interesting topics as patient careers, the relationship between lay and professional knowledge of insanity, the boundaries of professional power, and the creation of psychiatric knowledge. Particularly useful to student readers (and to those new to this academic field) is a substantive and accessible introduction to existing scholarship in the field, which signposts the ways in which this collection challenges, adjusts and extends previous perspectives.
Masculinities in Post-war and Contemporary British Literature
Volume Editors: Daniel Lea and Berthold Schoene
The essays collected in Posting the Male examine representations of masculinity in post-war and contemporary British literature, focussing on the works of writers as diverse as John Osborne, Joe Orton, James Kelman, Ian Rankin, Carol Ann Duffy, Alan Hollinghurst, Ian McEwan, Graham Swift and Jackie Kay. The collection seeks to capture the current historical moment of ‘crisis’, at which masculinity loses its universal transparency and becomes visible as a performative gender construct. Rather than denoting just one fixed, polarised point on a hierarchised axis of strictly segregated gender binaries, masculinity is revealed to oscillate within a virtually limitless spectrum of gender identities, characterised not by purity and self-containment but by difference and alterity.
As the contributors demonstrate, rather than a gender ‘in crisis’ millennial manhood is a gender ‘in transition’. Patriarchal strategies of man-making are gradually being replaced by less exclusionary patterns of self-identification inspired by feminism. Men have begun to recognise themselves as gendered beings and, as a result, masculinity has been set in motion.
Women, Writing & Subjectivities
The essays in this collection ( on Canada, the USA, Australia and the UK) question and discuss the issues of cross-cultural identities and the crossing of boundaries, both geographical and conceptual. All of the authors have experienced cross-culturalism directly and are conscious that positions of ‘double vision’, which allow the / to participate positively in two or more cultures, are privileges that only a few can celebrate. Most women find themselves “caught between cultures”. They become involved in a day-to-day struggle, in an attempt to negotiate identities which can affirm the self and, at the same time, strengthen the ties which unites the self with others. Theoretical issues on cross-culturalism, therefore, can either liberate or constrict the /. The essays here illustrate how women's writing negotiates this dualism through a colourful and complex weaving of words - thoughts and experiences both pleasurable and painful - into texts, quilts, rainbows. The metaphors abound. The connecting thread through their writing and, indeed, in these essays, is the concept of ‘belonging’, a theoretical/emotional composite of be-ing and longing. ‘Home’, too, assumes a variety of meanings; it is no longer a static geographical place, but many places. It is also a place elsewhere in the imagination, a mythic place of desire linked to origin.
Policies of multiculturalism can throw up more problems than they solve. In Canada, the difficulties surrounding the cross-cultural debate have given rise to a state of “messy imbroglio”. Notions of authenticity move dangerously close to essentialist identities. ‘Double vision’ is characteristic of peoples who have been uprooted and displaced, such as Australian Aboriginal writers of mixed race abducted during childhood. ‘Passing for’ black or white is full of complications, as in the case of Pauline Johnson, who passed as an authentic Indian. People with hyphenated citizenship (such as Japanese-Canadian) can be either free of national ties or trapped in subordination to the dominant culture; in these ‘visible minorities’, it is the status of being female (or coloured female) that is so often ultimately rendered invisible.
Examination of Canadian anthologies on cross-cultural writing by women reveals a crossing of boundaries of gender and genre, race and ethnicity, and, in some cases, national boundaries, in an attempt to connect with a diasporic consciousness. Cross-cultural women writers in the USA may stress experience and unique collective history, while others prefer to focus on aesthetic links and literary connections which ultimately silence difference. Journeying from the personal space of the / into the collective space of the we is exemplified in a reading of texts by June Jordan and Minnie Bruce Pratt. For these writers identity is in process. It is a painful negotiation but one which can transform knowledge into action.
The present volume of Critical Studies is a collection of selected essays on the topic of feminism and femininity in Chinese literature. Although feminism has been a hot topic in Chinese literary circles in recent years, this remarkable collection represents one of the first of its kind to be published in English. The essays have been written by well-known scholars and feminists including Kang-I Sun Chang of Yale University, and Li Ziyun, a writer and feminist in Shanghai, China. The essays are inter- and multi-disciplinary, covering several historical periods in poetry and fiction (from the Ming-Qing periods to the twentieth century). In particular, the development of women’s writing in the New Period (post-1976) is examined in depth. The articles thus offer the reader a composite and broad perspective of feminism and the treatment of the female in Chinese literature. As this remarkable new collection attests, the voices of women in China have begun calling out loudly, in ways that challenge prevalent views about the Chinese female persona.
Cet ouvrage représente la première collection d’articles critiques en langue française sur des œuvres publiées en France par de nouvelles écrivaines au cours des années 90. Le regroupement de ces auteures dans ce volume – Christine Angot, Geneviève Brisac, Marie Darrieussecq, Agnès Desarthe, Virginie Despentes, Régine Detambel, Anne Françoise Garréta, Louise Lambrichs, Linda Lê, Hélène de Monferrand, Lorette Nobécourt, Amélie Nothomb, Lydie Salvayre, Yasmina Reza et Pascale Roze – permet de présenter un riche éventail de la création littéraire féminine actuelle.
Peut-on véritablement parler d’une nouvelle génération d’écrivaines, comme ont pu le suggérer certain-e-s ? C’est la question soulevée dans l’introduction, qui analyse dans un premier temps la relative inégalité qui frappe encore les écrivaines dans le monde des lettres, avant d’évaluer comment leurs oeuvres s’inscrivent dans l’histoire littéraire contemporaine et comment elles se situent par rapport aux écrits des femmes de la génération précédente.
Ce livre s’adressera à tous ceux et toutes celles, élèves, étudiant-e-s, enseignant-e-s, qui s’intéressent d’une part aux développements du roman contemporain, et d’autre part à la contribution des femmes à la culture française. Il pourra aussi servir d’ouvrage de référence pour des recherches plus approfondies sur une ou plusieurs des auteures figurant dans ce volume, et sera un outil très utile dans l’exercice de littérature comparée.
Gender Politics and Difference in the Fiction of Buchi Emecheta
Author: Omar Sougou
This is a timely and comprehensive study combining various critical approaches to the fiction of Buchi Emecheta, one of Africa's most illustrious and contentious women writers. Feminist (Showalter, Cixous, Kristeva) and postcolonial approaches (writing back) are taken to Emecheta's texts to illuminate the personal, political and aesthetic ramifications of the production of this “born writer.” Poststructural programmes of analysis are shown to be less relevant to this writer’s fiction than Marxist and Bakhtinian perspectives. Emecheta is shown to be a bridge-builder between two cultures and two worlds in narratives (both challenging and popular) characterized by ambiguity, ambivalence and double-voiced discourse, all of which evince the writer's determination to expose imaginatively the colonial heritage of centre-periphery conflicts, cultural corruption, ethnic discrimination, gender oppression, and the migrant experience in multiracial communities.
This study investigates the connections between nineteenth-century pioneer women in Canada and their putative twentieth-century biographers in Anglo-Canadian women’s fiction by Carol Shields ( Small Ceremonies, 1976), Daphne Marlatt ( Ana Historic, 1988), and Susan Swan ( The Biggest Modern Woman of the World, 1983). These three texts reveal definite problems in the formation of Canadian female identities, but they also revalorise the traditionally underprivileged halves of binary structures such as: female/male, other/self, body/intellect, subjectivity/objectivity, and Canada/imperial centres.