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Presenting the first full-length collection of essays on Eudora Welty’s novel, Delta Wedding (1946), this volume is the fourth book in Rodopi Press’s Dialogue Series. Within these pages, emerging and experienced literary critics engage in an exciting dialogue about Welty’s noted novel, presenting a wide range of scholarship that focuses on feminist concerns, pays tribute to the rhetoric of exclusion and empowerment, examines the role of outsider and boundaries, explores meaning-making, and highlights the novel’s humor and musicality. This volume will no doubt be of interest to Welty aficianados as well as southern studies and feminist scholars and to those who are interested in the craft of writing fiction.
Gendered Space and Mobility in American Women’s Road Narratives, 1970-2000
Reading Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road through Virginia Woolf’s canonical A Room of One’s Own, the author of this book examines a genre in North American literature which, despite its popularity, has received little attention in literary and cultural criticism: women’s road narratives. The study shows how women’s literature has inscribed itself into the American discourse of the Whitmanesque “open road”, or, more generally, the “freedom of the road”. Women writers have participated in this powerful American myth, yet at the same time also have rejected that myth as fundamentally based on gendered and racial/ethnic hierarchies and power structures, and modified it in the process of writing back to it. The book analyzes stories about female runaways, outlaws, questers, adventurers, kidnappees, biker chicks, travelling saleswomen, and picaras and makes theoretical observations on the debates regarding discourses of spatiality and mobility—debates which have defined the so-called spatial turn in the humanities.
The analytical concept of transdifference is introduced to theorize the dissonant plurality of social and cultural affiliations as well as the narrative tensions produced by such pluralities in order to better understand the textual worlds of women’s multiple belongings as they are present in these writings. Roads of Her Own is thus not only situated in the broader context of a constructivist cultural studies, but also, by discussing narrative mobility under the sign of gender, combines insights from social theory and philosophy, feminist cultural geography, and literary studies.
Key names and concepts: Doreen Massey – Rosi Braidotti – Literary Studies – Spatial Turn – Gendered Space and Mobility – Nomadism – Road writing – Transdifference – American Culture – Popular Culture – Women’s Literature after the Second Wave – Quest – Picara.
Women’s Presence in Late Nineteenth-Century America
This exciting collection of interdisciplinary essays explores the later decades of the nineteenth century in America - the immediate postbellum period, the Gilded Age, and the Progressive Era - as a time of critical change in the cultural visibility of women, as they made new kinds of appearances throughout American society.
The essays show how, across the USA, it was fundamentally women who drove changes in their visibility forward, in groups and as individuals. Their motivations, activities and understandings were essential to shaping the character of their present society and the nation's future.
The book establishes that these women's engagement with American society and culture cannot be simply understood in terms of the traditional polarities of inside/outside and private/public, since these frames do not fit the complexities of what was happening, be it women's occupation of geographic space, their new patterns of employment, their advocacy of working-class or ethnic rights, or their literary or cultural engagement with their milieux. Such women as Ida B. Wells, Mother Jones, Jane Addams, Rebecca Harding Davis, Willa Cather, Sarah Orne Jewett, Louisa May Alcott and Kate Douglas Wiggin all come under consideration in the light of these radical changes.
This volume stems from the idea that the notion of borders and borderlines as clear-cut frontiers separating not only political and geographical areas, but also cultural, linguistic and semiotic spaces, does not fully address the complexity of contemporary cultural encounters. Centering on a whole range of literary works from the United States and the Caribbean, the contributors suggest and discuss different theoretical and methodological grounds to address the literary production taking place across the lines in North American and Caribbean culture. The volume represents a pioneering attempt at proposing the concept of the border as a useful paradigm not only for the study of Chicano literature but also for the other American literatures. The works presented in the volume illustrate various aspects and manifestations of the textual border(lands), and explore the double-voiced discourse of border texts by writers like Harriet E. Wilson, Rudolfo Anaya, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, Louise Erdrich, Helena Viramontes, Paule Marshall and Monica Sone, among others. This book is of interest for scholars and researchers in the field of comparative American studies and ethnic studies.