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Signs of Masculinity

Men in Literature 1700 to the Present

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Edited by Antony Rowland, Emma Liggins and Eriks Uskalis

Masculinity is becoming an increasingly popular area of study in areas as diverse as sociology, politics and cultural studies, yet significant research is lacking into connections between masculinity and literature. Signs of Masculinity aims at beginning to fill the gap. Starting with an introduction to, and intervention within, numerous debates concerning the cultural construction of various masculinities, the volume then continues with an investigation of representations of masculinity in literature from 1700 to the present. Close readings of texts are intended to demonstrate that masculinity is not a theoretical abstract, but a definitive textual and cultural phenomenon that needs to be recognised in the study of literature. It is hoped that the wide-ranging essays, which raise numerous issues, and are written from a variety of methodological approaches, will appeal to undergraduate, postgraduates and lecturers interest in the crucial but under-researched area of masculinity.

Image into Identity

Constructing and Assigning Identity in a Culture of Modernity

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Edited by Michael Wintle

The pervading theme of this book is the construction and allocation of identity, especially through images and imagery. The essays analyse how the dominant social discourses and imageries construct identity or assign subject positions in relation to the categories of race, nation, region, gender and language. The volume is designed to inform the study of those categories in cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, literary studies, philosophy and history. Its coverage is geographically global, multidisciplinary, and theoretically eclectic, but also accessible. The authors include both established and rising scholars from historical, literary, media, gender and cultural studies. This innovative collection will appeal to all those who are interested in the mechanisms of constructing and evolving personal and group identities, in past and present.

Fabulous Identities

Women’s Fairy Tales in Seventeenth-Century France

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Patricia Hannon

Fabulous Identities revises traditional interpretations of the fairy-tale vogue which was dominated by salon women in the last decade of the French seventeenth century. This study of women's tale narratives is set into an investigation of how aristocratic identity was transformed by political and social realignments forced by royal absolutism or ambitious materialism. Women's distinctive contributions to the genre are defined by drawing upon various texts that articulated the century's moral, cultural, and aesthetic values, as well as upon contemporary critical perspectives including seventeenth-century historical and cultural studies.
Caught up in the philosophical, political and social controversy over woman's nature, seventeenth-century women writers benefited from salon culture and their access to writing through the literary genres of fairy tales and novels, to explore new identities and expand representations of subjectivity. Women's tales can be seen as a theater for staging an authorial persona at odds with their portrait as presented in male-authored didactic treatises and in the fairy tales of Charles Perrault. At a time when the pressures of social conformity weighed heavily upon them, the conteuses highlight through metamorphosis the affective dimension together with its impact on evolving notions of personal autonomy.

Spiritcarvers

Interviews with eighteen writers from New Zealand

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Antonella Sarti

In a land caught between the sea and cloud, where the natural landscape still refuses civilization, there are those; the composers of words, tellers of tales, that help shape the minds of the people that live on its shores. They are spiritcarvers.
New Zealand writing today is engaging in an intent struggle to subvert multiple shapes into voices. These interviews, as a record of biographical orature, are shaped into presenting the figure of the storyteller through memory and language; explorations of how we imagine and create ourselves with and into words. Here we encounter the dichotomy of fiction and non-fiction, myth and consensual reality, imagination and truth: do we live within our own selected fictions? Identity is shaped by the authors' sense of displacement as well as of belonging - meeting otherness with dispossession, discovering connection through isolation.
Among the focal points of the interviews are the role of women's writing, Maori writing, interrelations among different cultures, and the influence of literary and oral tradition within New Zealand.

Christine de Pizan 2000

Studies on Christine de Pizan in Honour of Angus J. Kennedy

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Edited by John Campbell and Nadia Margolis

Christine de Pizan (ca. 1364-ca. 1430)—whether read as lyric poet, prose polemicist or historian, feminist or universal moralist—has over the past thirty years become more widely read than any other medieval French author. The attraction of her works continues to grow amongst the general public, as well as among critics and historians of literature, ideas, science and the visual arts, political scientists and philologists, and specialists in feminist theory. Christine intrigues readers by her intellectual paradoxes as much as by her prefiguration of modern attitudes by and toward women.
This collection of essays honours Angus J. Kennedy, an illustrious scholar who has greatly contributed to fostering this modern growth in interest. The editors here present a significant sampling of varieties of inquiry on Christine: a broad range of contributors, from around the world, represent different approaches and levels of experience. The volume contains two indexes, and a bibliography structured to serve as an integrated and integral reference source to pertinent primary and secondary materials. This volume thus charts the progress of Christine de Pizan studies at the start of the new millennium. True to the spirit of its honoree, it also aims to serve as a gateway to future research.

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Edited by Peng-hsiang Chen and Whitney Crothers Dilley

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.

Transgressing Boundaries

Gender, Identity, Culture, and the ‘Other’ in Postcolonial Women’s Narratives in East Africa

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Elizabeth F. Oldfield

Fictions written between 1939 and 2005 by indigenous and white (post)colonial women writers emerging from an African–European cultural experience form the focus of this study. Their voyages into the European diasporic space in Africa are important for conveying how African women’s literature is situated in relation to colonialism. Notwithstanding the centrality of African literature in the new postcolonial literatures in English, the accomplishments of the indigenous writer Grace Ogot have been eclipsed by the critical attention given to her male counterparts, while Elspeth Huxley, Barbara Kimenye, and Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, who are of Western cultural provenance but adopt an African perspective, are not accommodated by the genre of ‘expatriate literature’. The present study of both indigenous and white (post)colonial women’s narratives that are common to both categories fills this gap. Focused on the representation of gender, identity, culture, and the ‘Other’, the texts selected are set in Kenya and Uganda, and a main concern is with the extent to which they are influenced by setting and intercultural influences. The ‘African’ woman’s creation of textuality is at once the expression of female individualities and a transgression of boundaries. The particular category of fiction for children as written by Kimenye and Macgoye reveals the configuration of a voice and identity for the female ‘Other’ and writer which enables a subversive renegotiation of identity in the face of patriarchal traditions.