The book interrogates three common narratives: The rise of Fordism as a "masculine" mode of production and the transition to an era of "feminized" work; women’s liberation through the sexual revolutions; and the rise of a new form of literary authorship. Conversely, it suggests that women’s labor was integral to the operations of the Fordist business sphere, where, unlike at the factory, the white-collar office proletarian work was casualized and feminized. This book argues that this workplace was an important site of subject formation, affirming dominant ideologies through economic practices.
Analyzing work by Sinclair Lewis, Nella Larsen, Anita Loos, and Sylvia Plath, the book presents an alternative history of American modernism, one that is more attuned to gendered discourses of labor and class. By looking at the micropolitics of power within cultural institutions, this study moves beyond the dichotomies of exclusion/inclusion to interrogate the terms on which women and minorities worked as producers, and the ideas and experiences that consequently entered the field of intelligibility.
Polina Kroik holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on gender, work, and migration in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature and film. She has presented at numerous national conferences and contributed to peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Kroik teaches literature and writing at Fordham University and Baruch College, CUNY.
Kathrin Zippel looks to the STEM fields as a case study, where gendered cultures and structures in academia have contributed to an underrepresentation of women. While some have approached underrepresentation as a national concern with a national solution, Zippel highlights how gender relations are reconfigured in global academia. For U.S. women in particular, international collaboration offers opportunities to step outside of exclusionary networks at home. International collaboration is not the panacea to gendered inequalities in academia, but, as Zippel argues, international considerations can be key to ending the steady attrition of women in STEM fields and developing a more inclusive academic world.
Following Pickford's life from her childhood on stage to her rise as a powerful studio executive, this book gives an overview of her enduring contribution to American film and mass culture. It also explores her struggles to surpass her confining public film persona as 'America's Sweetheart' with her creative and business achievements, mirroring how women, both then and today, must reconcile domestic life with professional aspirations and work.
About the Lives of American Womenseries: Selected and edited by renowned women's historian Carol Berkin, these brief biographies are designed for use in undergraduate courses. Rather than a comprehensive approach, each biography focuses instead on a particular aspect of a woman's life that is emblematic of her time, or which made her a pivotal figure in the era. The emphasis is on a 'good read' featuring accessible writing and compelling narratives, without sacrificing sound scholarship and academic integrity. Primary sources at the end of each biography reveal the subject's perspective in her own words. Study questions and an annotated bibliography support the student reader.