Feminist scholarship employs gender as a fundamental organizing category of human experience, holding two related premises: men and women have different perceptions or experiences in the same contexts, the male perspective having been dominant in fields of knowledge; and that gender is not a natural fact but a social construct, a subject to study in any humanistic discipline. This challenging collection of essays by prominent feminist literary critics offers a comprehensive introduction to modes of critical practice being used to trace the construction of gender in literature.
The collection provides an invaluable overview of current femionist critical thinking. Its essays address a wide range of topics: the rerlevance of gender scholarship in the social sciences to literary criticism; the tradition of women's literature and its relation to the canon; the politics of language; French theories of the feminine; psychoanalysis and feminism; feminist criticism of writing by lesbians and black women; the relationship between female subjectivity, class, and sexuality; feminist readings of the canon.
Table of Contents
General editor's preface -- Acknowledgements -- Notes on contributors -- i Feminist scholarship and the social construction of woman /Gayle Greene and Coppelia Kahn -- 2 Varieties of feminist criticism /Sydney Janet Kaplan -- 3 The politics of language: beyond the gender principle? /Nelly Furman -- 4 Inscribing femininity: French theories of the feminine /Ann Rosalind Jones -- 5 Mind mother: psychoanalysis and feminism /Judith Kegan Gardiner -- 6 Pandora's box: subjectivity, class and sexuality in socialist feminist criticism /Cora Kaplan -- 7 What has never been: an overview of lesbian feminist criticism /Bonnie Zimmerman -- 8 Black women writers: taking a critical perspective /Susan Willis -- 9 Notorious signs, feminist criticism and literary tradition /Adrienne Munich -- Index.
Gayle Greene is Associate Professor English at Scripps College, Claremont, Ca. Coppelia Kahn is Professor of English at Brown University, Providence, RI. The other contributors are Nelly Furman, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Ann Rosalind Jones, Cora Kaplan, Sydney Janet Kaplan, Adrienne Munich, Susan Willis and Bonnie Zimmerman.
`This survey of the present state of feminist literary criticism defines the current options and opens up many possibilities for debate and practice in teaching and research ... this is a rich and encouraging book in its informative overview from several perspectives and in its suggestiveness of where we can go on from here.' - Women's Review
`Elegant and accomplished.' - New Statesman