More related to gender studies

Reconstructing Woman explores a scenario common to the works of four major French novelists of the nineteenth century: Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, and Villiers. In the texts of each author, a “new Pygmalion” (as Balzac calls one of his characters) turns away from a real woman he has loved or desired and prefers instead his artificial re-creation of her. All four authors also portray the possibility that this simulacrum, which replaces the woman, could become real. The central chapters examine this plot and its meanings in multiple texts of each author (with the exception of the chapter on Villiers, in which only “L’Eve future” is considered).

The premise is that this shared scenario stems from the discovery in the nineteenth century that humans are transformable. Because scientific innovations play a major part in this discovery, Dorothy Kelly reviews some of the contributing trends that attracted one or more of the authors: mesmerism, dissection, transformism, and evolution, new understandings of human reproduction, spontaneous generation, puericulture, the experimental method. These ideas and practices provided the novelists with a scientific context in which controlling, changing, and creating human bodies became imaginable.

At the same time, these authors explore the ways in which not only bodies but also identity can be made. In close readings, Kelly shows how these narratives reveal that linguistic and coded social structures shape human identity. Furthermore, through the representation of the power of language to do that shaping, the authors envision that their own texts would perform that function. The symbol of the reconstruction of woman thus embodies the fantasy and desire that their novels could create or transform both reality and their readers in quite literal ways. Through literary analyses, we can deduce from the texts just why this artificial creation is a woman.

During the eighteenth-century, at a time when secular and religious authors in France were questioning women’s efforts to read, a new literary genre emerged: conduct books written specifically for girls and unmarried young women. In this carefully researched and thoughtfully argued book, Professor Nadine Bérenguier shares an in-depth analysis of this development, relating the objectives and ideals of these books to the contemporaneous Enlightenment concerns about improving education in order to reform society. Works by Anne-Thérèse de Lambert, Madeleine de Puisieux, Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Louise d'Epinay, Barthélémy Graillard de Graville, Chevalier de Cerfvol, abbé Joseph Reyre, Pierre-Louis Roederer, and Marie-Antoinette Lenoir take up a wide variety of topics and vary dramatically in tone. But they all share similar objectives: acquainting their young female readers with the moral and social rules of the world and ensuring their success at the next stage of their lives. While the authors regarded their texts as furthering the common good, they were also aware that they were likely to be controversial among those responsible for girls' education. Bérenguier's sensitive readings highlight these tensions, as she offers readers a rare view of how conduct books were conceived, consumed, re-edited, memorialized, and sometimes forgotten. In the broadest sense, her study contributes to our understanding of how print culture in eighteenth-century France gave shape to a specific social subset of new readers: modern girls.
Today the friendships that grab people’s imaginations are those that reach across inequalities of class and race. The friendships that seem to have exerted an analogous level of fascination in early modern France were those that defied the assumption, inherited from Aristotle and patristic sources, that friendships between men and women were impossible. Together, the essays in Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France tell the story of the declining intelligibility of classical models of (male) friendship and of the rising prominence of women as potential friends. The revival of Plato’s friendship texts in the sixteenth century challenged Aristotle’s rigid ideal of perfect friendship between men. In the seventeenth century, a new imperative of heterosociality opened a space for the cultivation of cross-gender friendships, while the spiritual friendships of the Catholic Reformation modeled relationships that transcended the gendered dynamics of galanterie. Men and Women Making Friends in Early Modern France argues that the imaginative experimentation in friendships between men and women was a distinctive feature of early modern French culture. The ten essays in this volume address friend-making as a process that is creative of self and responsive to changing social and political circumstances. Contributors reveal how men and women fashioned gendered selves, and also circumvented gender norms through concrete friendship practices. By showing that the benefits and the risks of friendship are magnified when gender roles and relations are unsettled, the essays in this volume highlight the relevance of early modern friend-making to friendship in the contemporary world.
Arab women's writing in the modern age began with 'A'isha al-Taymuriya, Warda al-Yaziji, Zaynab Fawwaz, and other nineteenth-century pioneers in Egypt and the Levant. This unique study-first published in Arabic in 2004-looks at the work of those pioneers and then traces the development of Arab women's literature through the end of the twentieth century, and also includes a meticulously researched, comprehensive bibliography of writing by Arab women. In the first section, in nine essays that cover the Arab Middle East from Morocco to Iraq and Syria to Yemen, critics and writers from the Arab world examine the origin and evolution of women's writing in each country in the region, addressing fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiographical writing. The second part of the volume contains bibliographical entries for over 1,200 Arab women writers from the last third of the nineteenth century through 1999. Each entry contains a short biography and a bibliography of each author's published works. This section also includes Arab women's writing in French and English, as well as a bibliography of works translated into English. With its broad scope and extensive research, this book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in Arabic literature, women's studies, or comparative literature. Contributors: Emad Abu Ghazi, Radwa Ashour, Mohammed Berrada, Ferial J. Ghazoul, Subhi Hadidi, Haydar Ibrahim, Yumna al-'Id, Su'ad al-Mani', Iman al-Qadi, Amina Rachid, Huda al-Sadda, Hatim al-Sakr.
We no longer ascribe the term ’mermaid’ to those we deem sexually or economically threatening; we do not ubiquitously use the mermaid’s image in political propaganda or feature her within our houses of worship; perhaps most notably, we do not entertain the possibility of the mermaid’s existence. This, author Tara Pedersen argues, makes it difficult for contemporary scholars to consider the mermaid as a figure who wields much social significance. During the early modern period, however, this was not the case, and Pedersen illustrates the complicated category distinctions that the mermaid inhabits and challenges in 16th-and 17th-century England. Addressing epistemological questions about embodiment and perception, this study furthers research about early modern theatrical culture by focusing on under-theorized and seldom acknowledged representations of mermaids in English locations and texts. While individuals in early modern England were under pressure to conform to seemingly monolithic ideals about the natural order, there were also significant challenges to this order. Pedersen uses the figure of the mermaid to rethink some of these challenges, for the mermaid often appears in surprising places; she is situated at the nexus of historically specific debates about gender, sexuality, religion, the marketplace, the new science, and the culture of curiosity and travel. Although these topics of inquiry are not new, Pedersen argues that the mermaid provides a new lens through which to look at these subjects and also helps scholars think about the present moment, methodologies of reading, and many category distinctions that are important to contemporary scholarly debates.
Canadian Women in Print, 1750—1918 is the first historical examination of women’s engagement with multiple aspects of print over some two hundred years, from the settlers who wrote diaries and letters to the New Women who argued for ballots and equal rights. Considering women’s published writing as an intervention in the public sphere of national and material print culture, this book uses approaches from book history to address the working and living conditions of women who wrote in many genres and for many reasons.

This study situates English Canadian authors within an extensive framework that includes francophone writers as well as women’s work as compositors, bookbinders, and interveners in public access to print. Literary authorship is shown to be one point on a spectrum that ranges from missionary writing, temperance advocacy, and educational texts to journalism and travel accounts by New Woman adventurers. Familiar figures such as Susanna Moodie, L.M. Montgomery, Nellie McClung, Pauline Johnson, and Sara Jeannette Duncan are contextualized by writers whose names are less well known (such as Madge Macbeth and Agnes Laut) and by many others whose writings and biographies have vanished into the recesses of history.

Readers will learn of the surprising range of writing and publishing performed by early Canadian women under various ideological, biographical, and cultural motivations and circumstances. Some expressed reluctance while others eagerly sought literary careers. Together they did much more to shape Canada’s cultural history than has heretofore been recognized.

Racial, Ethnic, Gender and Class Representations in Margaret Laurence’s Writings is a study on Canada, Canadian literature and Margaret Laurence’s works in particular, thus addressing various kinds of readership. This book avoids the danger of limiting the approach to solely focusing attention on Canada by presenting a thorough analysis of various literary genres, allowing the book to be of interest to all literature lovers. Furthermore, the book explores the parallelism between life and fiction, emphasising Laurence’s biographic and realist elements and their influence on the writer’s fictional writing, revealing real and imaginary worlds which would appeal to anybody’s literary needs.

This major contribution to the already existent criticism of Margaret Laurence’s works lies in the analysis of her work as an entity, balancing both terms of the common binary oppositions: fiction versus non-fiction, Africa versus Canada, white versus Black or Metis. In spite of critical comments which might be raised, Andreea Topor-Constantin comments on how the voice of the marginal makes itself heard throughout the author’s books, underlying Laurence’s emphasis on characterisation and her genuine concern for people.

This book covers all aspects of Laurence’s life and fiction: from the African to the writer’s Canadian background, from adults’ to children’s literature, from novels to short stories, from essays to letters, in order to challenge readers’ perceptions of race, ethnicity, gender and class.

This study explores the diverse representations of sexuality, eroticism, and gender as expressed in French and Francophone literary thought – both past and present. From Françoise de Graffigny’s epistolary “refusal” of eroticism – to the challenge of nineteenth-century notions of rape in the novels of Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, and Eugène Sue – to desire and eroticism as social taboo in the surrealist works of Georges Bataille and Luis Buñuel – its historical focus demonstrates that issues of sexuality, eroticism, and gender existed at the heart of France’s literary tradition long before they became a staple in its universities. Taking a more contemporary view, it examines the notion of écriture féminine in such authors as Monique Wittig, Anne F. Garréta, Nina Bouraoui, Assia Djebar, and Luce Iragaray, and also challenges accusations of misogyny in the works of Michel Houellebecq.

While glimpsing the evolution of, challenges to, and conceptions regarding sexuality, eroticism, and gender, each chapter’s author focuses on language as both the obstacle and catalyst for change. For example, feminist strategies to avoid linguistic gender markers that subvert the phallogocentric paradigm, literary portrayals of rape as a means to affect French penal code, and use of the female body as language demonstrate that these notions are not only shaped by language but that language represents the key to deconstructing and redefining them. Whether picking this up to read about familiar authors such as Hugo and Djebar or discovering Graffigny and Houellebecq for the first time, each chapter promises to shed new light on its subject matter in regards to sexuality, eroticism, and/or gender.

Reclaiming Home, Remembering Motherhood, Rewriting History: African American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Literature in the Twentieth Century offers a critical valuation of literature composed by black female writers and examines their projects of reclamation, rememory, and revision. As a collection, it engages black women writers’ efforts to create more inclusive conceptualizations of community, gender, and history, conceptualizations that take into account alternate lived and written experiences as well as imagined futures.

Contributors to this collection probe the realms of gender studies, postcolonialism, and post-structural theory and suggest important ways in which to explore connections between home, motherhood, and history across the multifarious narratives of African American and Afro-Caribbean experiences. Together they argue that it is through their female characters that black women writers demonstrate the tumultuous processes of deciphering home and homeland, of articulating the complexities of mothering relationships, and of locating their own personal history within local and national narratives.

Essays gathered in this collection consider the works of African American women writers (Pauline Hopkins, Toni Morrison, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Audre Lorde, Lalita Tademy, Lorene Cary, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Sherley Anne Williams) alongside the works of black women writers from the Caribbean (Jamaica Kincaid and Gisèle Pineau), Guyana (Grace Nichols), and Cuba (María de los Reyes Castillo Bueno).

The mention of Chinese women writers in diaspora immediately brings to mind Jung Chang (b. 1952) and her Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (1991), which won the 1992 NCR book award and the 1993 British Book of the Year Award, and got officially banned in China. Despite its popular reception and crucial acclaim, Chang’s work has invited a lot of attacks. Among the most common is the contention that it merely focuses on the experience of the privileged and does not tell the reader what other memoirs have not already revealed.

Chinese Women Writers in Diaspora is a pioneering study that focuses on four Chinese women writers currently living in the United States and England, whose works have been popularly received—and are in many cases, highly controversial—but have received little scholarly attention: Xinran (b. 1958), Hong Ying (b. 1962), Anchee Min (b. 1957), and Adeline Yen Mah (b. 1937). The chapters illuminate how Xinran constructs her identity and her fellow Chinese women in dialectics of self and other; how Hong Ying evokes cycles of return that blend Western and Chinese philosophical concepts; how Min employs images of theatre and theatrical conventions to depict the entrapment and transgression of her protagonists; and how Mah transliterates and appropriates both Western and Chinese fairy tale motifs to fashion her Chinese feminist utopia. While Jung Chang’s memoir seems confining, it has aroused interest in the genre of Chinese female autobiography, and Chinese women writers who live and write between cultures.

Victorian Murderesses investigates the politics of female violence in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), George Eliot’s Adam Bede (1859), Mary Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862), and Florence Marryat’s The Blood of the Vampire (1897). The controversial figure of the murderess in these four novels challenges the assumption that women are essentially nurturing and passive and that violence and aggression are exclusively male traits. By focusing on the representations of murder committed by women, this book demonstrates how legal and even medical discourses endorsed Victorian domestic ideology, as female criminals were often locked up in asylums and publicly executed without substantial evidence. While paying close attention to the social, economic, judicial, and political dynamics of Victorian England, this interdisciplinary study also tackles the question of female agency, as the novels simultaneously portray women as perpetrators of murder and excuse their socially unacceptable traits of anger and violence by invoking heredity and madness. Although the four novels tend to undercut female power and attribute violence to adulterous women, they are revolutionary enough to deploy female characters who rebel against male sovereignty and their domestic roles by stabbing their rapists and even killing their newborns. Victorian studies on gender and violence focus primarily on female victims of sexual harassment, and real and fictional male killers like Dracula and Jack the Ripper. Victorian Murderesses contributes to the field by investigating how literary representations of female violence counter the idealisation of women as angelic housewives.

Bachelors, Bastards, and Nomadic Masculinity is, firstly, a thematic exploration of bachelor figures and male bastards in literary works by Guy de Maupassant and André Gide. The coupling of Maupassant and Gide is appropriate for such an analysis, not only because of their mutual treatment of illegitimacy, but also because each writer represents varieties of bachelors and bastards from disparate social classes and subcultures, each writing during contiguous moments of socio-legal changes particularly related to divorce law and women’s rights, which consequently have great influence on the legal destiny of illegitimate or “natural” children. Napoleon’s Civil Code of 1804 provides the legal (patriarchal) framework for the period of this study of illegitimacy, from about 1870 to 1925. The Civil Code saw numerous changes during this period. The Naquet Law of 1884, which reestablished limited legal divorce, represents the central socio-legal event of the turn of the century in matters of legitimacy, whereas the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the First World War furnish chronological bookends for this book. Besides through history, law, and sociology, this book treats illegitimacy through the lens of various branches of gender and sexual theory, particularly the study of masculinities, and a handful of other important critical theories, most importantly those of Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, Todd Reeser, Charles Stivale, and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

Bachelors and bastards are two principal players in the representation of illegitimacy in Maupassant and Gide, but this study considers the theme of illegitimacy as extended beyond simple questions of legitimate versus illegitimate children. The male bastard is only one of the "Counterfeit" characters examined in these authors' fictional texts. This book is divided into three parts which consider specific thematic elements of their "bastard narratives". Part One frames the representation in fiction of bachelor figures and how they contribute to, or the roles they play in, instances of illegitimacy. Part Two springs from and develops the metaphor of the "counterfeit coin," whether represented by a bastard son, an affected schoolboy, a false priest, or a pretentious littérateur. Part Three explains the concept of "nomadic masculine" practices; such practices include nomadic styles of masculinity development as well as the bastard's nomadism.

Narratives of Community draws together essays that examine short story sequences by women through the lenses of Sandra Zagarell’s theoretical

essay, “Narrative of Community.” Reading texts from countries around the world, the collection’s twenty-two contributors expand scholarship on the genre as they employ diverse theoretical models to consider how female identity is negotiated in community or the roles of women in domestic, social and literary community. Grouped into four sections based on these examinations, the essays demonstrate how Zagarell’s theory can provide a point of reference for multiple approaches to women’s writing as they read the semiotic systems of community. While “narrative of community” provides an organizing principle behind this collection, these essays offer critical approaches grounded in a wide variety of disciplines. Zagarell contributes the collection’s concluding essay, in which she provides a series of reflections on literary and cultural representations of community, on generic categorizations of community, and on regionalism and narrative

of community as she returns to theoretical ground she first broke almost twenty years ago. Overall, these essays bring their contributors and

readers into a community engaged with a narrative genre that inspires and affords a rich and growing tradition of scholarship.

With Narratives of Community, editor Roxanne Harde offers a wealth of critical essays on a wide variety of women's linked series of short stories, essays that can be seen overall to explore the genre as a kind of meeting house of fictional form and meaning for an inclusive sororal community. The book itself joins a growing critical community of monographs and essay collections that have been critically documenting the rise of the modern genre of the story cycle to a place second only to the novel. But more than simply joining this critical venture, Narratives of Community makes a major contribution to studies in the short story, feminist theory, women's studies, and genre theory. Its introduction and essays should prove of enduring interest to scholars and critics in these fields, as well as continue highly useful in the undergraduate and graduate classrooms.

— Gerald Lynch, Professor of English, University of Ottawa

The introduction, by Prof. Harde, and the 20 essays in the book dialogue with Sandra Zagarell’s proposed paradigm “narratives of community”, which other scholars have called “short story cycles” or “story sequences”. Zagarell’s proposal organically blends a generic model with a thematic concern to explain how women writing community often turn to a particular narrative style that itself supports the literary creation of that community. Harde and the volume contributors appropriate this brilliant and engaging proposal in the context of other crucial discussions of the genre—notably Forest Ingram’s germinal study, J. Gerald Kennedy’s work, and those by Robert Luscher, Maggie Dunn and Anne Morris, James Nagel, Gerald Lynch and (I’m honored to note), my own study on Asian American short story cycles—to expand the range of the critical discussion on the form. The quality and diversity of the essays remind us that there is still much work that can be done in the area of genre studies.

The volume emphasizes an important caveat to one vital misconception: that although writers like James Joyce or Sherwood Anderson are thought to be the precursors or, even, “inventors” of the form, women’s sequences, by Sara Orne Jewett and Elizabeth Gaskell, among others, actually predate the work of the male writers. This fact suggests that the development of the form as a genre that attends to specific perspectives or creative formulations of and by women needs to be considered in depth. The temporal scope of the volume is therefore a vital contribution to scholarship on the form, as is the diversity of the writers analyzed. Indeed, the examination of narratives by writers from different countries and that focus on characters from different time periods, racial, religious, or ethnic communities, and social class impels a multilayered reading of the texts that inevitably promotes a nuanced understanding of the project of each of the writers, a project that connects issues of individuality and community in varied and often surprising ways. The essays thus critically explore the notion of community in its myriad associations with the individual and as a crucial site not only for women’s action upon the world but also for her creative endeavors.

The essays in the volume revisit familiar texts—Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Welty’s The Golden Apples, Munro’s The Lives of Girls and Women, among others—but offer new perspectives on the way form interacts with issues of women’s communities and women creating community in these works. Significantly, it also offers readings on texts that have not been analyzed in detail from this perspective—Gaskell’s Cranford or Woolf’s A Haunted House, for example—thus contributing to a continuing conversation about the ways women write. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the new expand the paradigms of current criticism not only on the story cycle but also on women’s writing in general.

—Rocio Davis, Professor of Literature, University of Navarre

"Roxanne Harde’s forthcoming volume, Narratives of Community: Women’s Short Story Sequences, provides an abundant collection of varied responses to Sandra Zagarell’s longstanding call for further in-depth exploration of the genre that Zagarell christened “the narrative of community” in her 1988 essay linking non-novelistic narrative form with representations of female experience. As Harde observes, such narratives of community overlap significantly with the growing canon of unified but discontinuous collections of autonomous stories that critics have variously labeled as the short story cycle/ sequence/ composite . .

. The essays in her collection examine a rich variety of such works by women, extending the scholarship in this area. . . Harde’s ample collection of essays presents a concerted and diverse exploration of the implications of the short story sequence form as a representation of women’s lives as part of and in conflict with membership in a community.

. . . Overall, Harde’s volume is a welcome addition to current scholarship on the short story sequence, bringing in a variety of new voices and perspectives to the community of scholars who have engaged in the exploration of this paradoxical, evolving, and increasingly popular genre."

— Dr. Luscher

A bold new literary history that says women's writing is defined less by domestic concerns than by an engagement with public life

In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women's writing, At Home in the World argues that this body of work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. In this new literary history, Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord contend that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life, allowing characters and authors alike to forge new, emancipatory narratives.

The book explores works by a wide range of writers, including canonical figures such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Harriet Jacobs, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, and Toni Morrison; neglected or marginalized writers like Mary Antin, Tess Slesinger, and Martha Gellhorn; and recent and contemporary figures, including Nadine Gordimer, Anita Desai, Edwidge Danticat, and Jhumpa Lahiri. DiBattista and Nord show how these writers dramatize tensions between home and the wider world through recurrent themes of sailing forth, escape, exploration, dissent, and emigration. Throughout, the book uncovers the undervalued public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.

The result is an enlightening reinterpretation of women's writing from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

This new collection of sixteen essays considers evidence for the varied forms of women's alliances in early modern England. It shows how women, prohibited from direct participation in the institutional structures that shaped the lives of men, constructed informal connections with other females for purposes of survival, advancement, and creativity. The essays presented here consider a variety of communities--formed among groups as diverse as serving women, vagrants, aristocrats, and authors--in order to study the historical traces of women's connections. "Alliance"--as understood by the essayists in this volume--does not preclude competition or antagonism, since the bonds among women were frequently determined by an opposition to other women. As shown here, the theorizing of women's connections, and the recovery of the historical evidence for these connections, can only add to our understanding of women's activities in early modern English society. Maids and Mistresses, Cousins and Queens is divided into four sections. The first two, "Alliances in the City" and "Alliances in the Household," examine the circumstances of women's communities in two primary sites for women of this place and time. The second two, "Materializing Communities" and "Emerging Alliances," fully study the aspirations that guided and transformed the courses of women's lives. All of these interdisciplinary essays, deftly combining literary and historical methods and materials, are informed by feminism, queer theory, and studies of class and race in the early modern period.
This book explores the poetics of literary defences of women written by men in late-medieval and early-modern France. It fills an important lacuna in studies of this polemic in imaginative literature by bridging the gap between Christine de Pizan and a later generation of women writers and male, Neo-Platonist writers who have recently all received due critical attention. Whereas male-authored defences composed between 1440 and 1538 have previously been dismissed as 'insincere' or 'mere intellectual games', Swift formulates reading strategies to overcome such critical stumbling blocks and engage with the particular rhetorical and historical contexts of these works. Edited and as yet unedited texts by Martin Le Franc, Jacques Milet, Pierre Michault, and Jean Bouchet-catalogues of women, allegorical narratives, and debate poems-are brought together and analysed in detail for the first time in order to explore, for example, how such works address the misogynistic spectre of Jean de Meun's Roman de la rose. The book seeks to understand the contemporary popularity of the case for women (la querelle des femmes) as literary subject matter. It investigates the publication history across this period, from manuscript to print, of Le Franc's Le Champion des dames. Swift further aims to show how these texts hold interest for modern audiences. A nexus of theoretical concerns centred on performance - Judith Butler's gender performativity, Derrida's re-working of Austin's linguistic performativity through spectrality, and dramatic performance - is enlisted to articulate the interpretative engagement expected by querelle writers of their audience. The reading strategies proposed foster a nuanced and enriched perspective on the question of a male author's 'sincerity' when writing in defence of women.
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