Major Concepts in Spanish Feminist Theory

SUNY Press
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First book in English to offer a thorough introduction to key concepts and figures in Spanish feminist thought.


Major Concepts in Spanish Feminist Theory is the first book in English to offer a substantial overview of Spanish feminist thought. It focuses on six concepts—solitude, personality, social class, work, difference, and equality—and distinguishes Spanish feminist theory from that of other countries. Roberta Johnson employs a chronological format to highlight continuity and polemics in Spanish feminist thinking from the eighteenth century to the present. She brings together arguments from well-known names such as Benito Jerónimo Feijoo, Concepción Arenal, Emilia Pardo Bazán, María Martínez Sierra, Carmen de Burgos, and Carmen Laforet, as well as less familiar figures such as the Countess Campo Alange María Laffitte and Lilí Álvarez, who defied restrictions on feminist activity during the Franco dictatorship to publish feminist books. The topics of difference and equality are explored, and the book recounts the long tension between theorists of each persuasion—a tension that erupted publicly during Spain’s democratic era. Each theorist’s arguments are laid out in straightforward, non-jargonistic prose, making this book a useful classroom tool for courses on Spanish women writers, Spanish culture, and cross-cultural feminist studies.


“This book is a significant overview of the theoretical concepts and authors that make up the history of Spanish feminism from the eighteenth century to the present. The organization of the book around concepts is not only its great strength but is also refreshing—a novel approach to a chronological history of Spanish feminism.” — Alda Blanco, San Diego State University

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About the author

Roberta Johnson is Professor Emerita of Spanish at the University of Kansas and teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California at Los Angeles. She has written several books, including Spanish Women Writers and Spain’s Civil War (coedited with Maryellen Bieder).

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2019
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Pages
250
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ISBN
9781438473710
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Feminism & Feminist Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Seely, the youngest elected president of California's chapter of the National Organization for Women, combines her own story of third-wave feminism with an overview of the feminist movement and words to guide others. Third-wave feminists are aware of both the victories won by earlier feminists and the problems of class, race, sexual orientation, and internationalism that must still be overcome. This book weaves a deep respect for the foremothers with commonsense discussion of current obstacles and suggestions for direct action, resulting in a work that reminds us of what too many activists forget-every progressive movement has a long history, few organizing tricks are new, and problems must be understood before they can be solved. Seely includes booklists, time lines, web sites, and how-to tips that will help readers over the bridge from her insights to real world activism. For midsize to larger public libraries, academic libraries, and all feminist collections.
—Library Journal
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Fight Like a Girl is packed with both information and inspiration for young women by a young woman who knows her stuff. It's a terrific practical feminist resource book with an optimistic attitude that says in clear language, “You're in charge of your life and here's how to stay that way”.
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Fight Like a Girl offers a fearless vision for the future of feminism. By boldly detailing what is at stake for women and girls today, Megan Seely outlines the necessary steps to achieve true political, social and economic equity for all. Reclaiming feminism for a new generation, Fight Like a Girl speaks to young women who embrace feminism in substance but not necessarily in name.
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Exploring such issues as body image and self-acceptance, education and empowerment, health and sexuality, political representation, economic justice, and violence against women, Fight Like a Girl looks at the challenges that women and girls face while emphasizing the strength that they independently, and collectively, embody. Seely delves into the politics of the feminist movement, exploring both women's history and current–day realities with easy-to-follow lists and timelines like those on “Women Who Made a Difference,” “Chronology of the U.S. Women's Movement,” and “Do's and Don'ts for Young Feminists.”
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The marriage of philosophy and fiction in the first third of Spain's twentieth century was a fertile one. It produced some truly notable offspring -- novels that cross genre boundaries to find innovative forms, and treatises that fuse literature and philosophy in new ways. In her illuminating interdisciplinary study of Spanish fiction of the "Silver Age," Roberta Johnson places this important body of Spanish literature in context through a synthesis of social, literary, and philosophical history.

Her examination of the work of Miguel de Unamuno, Pio Baroja, Azorin, Ramon Perez de Ayala, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Gabriel Miro, Pedro Salinas, Rosa Chacel, and Benjamin Jarnes brings to light philosophical frictions and debates and opens new interpersonal and intertextual perspectives on many of the period's most canonical novels.

Johnson reformulates the traditional discussion of generations and "isms" by viewing the period as an intergenerational complex in which writers with similar philosophical and personal interests constituted dynamic groupings that interacted and constantly defined and redefined one another. Current narratological theories, including those of Todorov, Genette, Bakhtin, and Martinez Bonati, assist in teasing out the intertextual maneuvers and philosophical conflicts embedded in the novels of the period, while the sociological and biographical material bridges the philosophical and literary analyses.

The result, solidly grounded in original archival research, is a convincingly complete picture of Spain's intellectual world in the first thirty years of this century. Crossfire should revolutionize thinking about the Generation of '98 and the Generation of '14 by identifying the heterogeneous philosophical sources of each and the writers' reactions to them in fiction.

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) pitted conservative forces including the army, the Church, the Falange (fascist party), landowners, and industrial capitalists against the Republic, installed in 1931 and supported by intellectuals, the petite bourgeoisie, many campesinos (farm laborers), and the urban proletariat. Provoking heated passions on both sides, the Civil War soon became an international phenomenon that inspired a number of literary works reflecting the impact of the war on foreign and national writers. While the literature of the period has been the subject of scholarship, women's literary production has not been studied as a body of work in the same way that literature by men has been, and its unique features have not been examined. Addressing this lacuna in literary studies, this volume provides fresh perspectives on well-known women writers, as well as less studied ones, whose works take the Spanish Civil War as a theme. The authors represented in this collection reflect a wide range of political positions. Writers such as Maria Zambrano, Mercè Rodoreda, and Josefina Aldecoa were clearly aligned with the Republic, whereas others, including Mercedes Salisachs and Liberata Masoliver, sympathized with the Nationalists. Most, however, are situated in a more ambiguous political space, although the ethics and character portraits that emerge in their works might suggest Republican sympathies. Taken together, the essays are an important contribution to scholarship on literature inspired by this pivotal point in Spanish history.
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