Originally published in 1999 The Foremother Figure in Early Black Women's Literature looks at how stereotypical foremother figure exists in nineteenth century American literature. The book argues that older black woman portrayed in early black women’s works differs significantly from the older black women portrayed in early white women’s works. The foremother figure, then emerging in early black women’s fiction revises the stereotypical mother figure in early white women’s fiction. In the context of the mulatta heroine the foremother produces minimal language that, through an Afrocentric rhetoric, distinguishes her from the stereotypical mother and thus links her peripheral role and unusual behaviour to cultural continuity and radical uplift.
As she explores tropes of illness, healing, and social justice in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, and Mary Shelley, Dolan engages with a wide range of primary sources in science and medicine. She argues that the Romantic-era interest in the physiology of vision influenced the culture's understanding of suffering, and that these three authors experimented with materialist modes of seeing in order to expand the language of suffering and to claim literary authority.
Many of America’s foremost, and most beloved, authors are also southern and female: Mary Chesnut, Kate Chopin, Ellen Glasgow, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou, Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, and Lee Smith, to name several. Designating a writer as “southern” if her work reflects the region’s grip on her life, Carolyn Perry and Mary Louise Weaks have produced an invaluable guide to the richly diverse and enduring tradition of southern women’s literature. Their comprehensive history—the first of its kind in a relatively young field—extends from the pioneer woman to the career woman, embracing black and white, poor and privileged, urban and Appalachian perspectives and experiences. The History of Southern Women’s Literature allows readers both to explore individual authors and to follow the developing arc of various genres across time. Conduct books and slave narratives; Civil War diaries and letters; the antebellum, postbellum, and modern novel; autobiography and memoirs; poetry; magazine and newspaper writing—these and more receive close attention. Over seventy contributors are represented here, and their essays discuss a wealth of women’s issues from four centuries: race, urbanization, and feminism; the myth of southern womanhood; preset images and assigned social roles—from the belle to the mammy—and real life behind the facade of meeting others’ expectations; poverty and the labor movement; responses to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the influence of Gone with the Wind. The history of southern women’s literature tells, ultimately, the story of the search for freedom within an “insidious tradition,” to quote Ellen Glasgow. This teeming volume validates the deep contributions and pleasures of an impressive body of writing and marks a major achievement in women’s and literary studies.
Preface and Acknowledgments. SECTION I: ENGENDERING LANGUAGE, SILENCE, AND VOICE. Introduction. Annotated Bibliography. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). A Room of One's Own. bell hooks (1955-). Talking Back. Leoba of England and Germany (700?-780). Letter to Lord Boniface. Matilda, Queen of England (1080-1118). Letter to Archbishop Anselm. Letter to Pope Pascal. Anne Lock (fl.1556-1590). from A Meditation of a penitent sinner, upon the 51 psalm. Isabella Whitney (fl. 1567-1573?). The Author. . .Maketh Her Will and Testament. from The Manner of Her Will. Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673). The Poetess's Hasty Resolution. The Poetess's Petition. An Excuse for So Much Writ upon My Verses. Nature's Cook. from To All Writing Ladies. Anne Killigrew (1660-1685). Upon the Saying that My Verses Were Made by Another. On a Picture Painted by Herself. Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661-1720). The Introduction. A Nocturnal Reverie. Ardelia to Melancholy. Friendship between Ephelia and Ardelia. The Answer. Frances Burney (1752-1840). from The Diary of Frances Burney. Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849). from Letters for Literary Ladies. Jane Austen (1775-1817). Northanger Abbey. Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Introduction to Frankenstein. Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855). Letter from Robert Southey. Letter to Robert Southey . Letter to George Henry Lewes. Emily Brontë (1818-1848). [Alone I sat; the summer day]. To Imagination. The Night Wind. R. Alcona to J. Brenzaida. [No coward soul is mine]. Stanzas. George Eliot (1819-1880). Silly Novels by Lady Novelists. Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). The Yellow Wallpaper. Edith Wharton (1862-1937). A Journey. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). from Patriarchal Poetry. Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). from Dust Tracks on a Road. Stevie Smith (1902-1971). My Muse Sits Forlorn. A Dream of Comparison. Thoughts about the Person from Porlock. May Sarton (1912-95). Journey Toward Poetry. The Muse as Medusa. Of the Muse. Hisaye Yamamoto (1921-). Seventeen Syllables. Maxine Hong Kingston (1940-). No Name Woman. Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-). Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers. Alice Walker (1944-). In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens. Medbh McGuckian (1950-). To My Grandmother. From the Dressing Room. Turning the Moon into a Verb. Carol Ann Duffy (1955-). Standing Female Nude. Litany. Mrs. Aesop. Gcina Mhlophe (1959-). The Toilet. Sometimes When It Rains. The Dancer. Say No. Intertextualities. Topics for Discussion, Journals, and Essays. Group Writing and Performance Exercise. Barbara Christian (1943-). The Highs and Lows of Black Feminist Criticism. Elaine Showalter (1941-). Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness. SECTION II: WRITING BODIES/BODIES WRITING. Introduction. Annotated Bibliography. Hélène Cixous (1937-). The Laugh of the Medusa. Nancy Mairs (1943-). Reading Houses, Writing Lives: The French Connection. Anonymous. The Wife's Lament (8th century?). Anonymous. Wulf and Eadwacer (8th century?). Margery Kempe (1373?-1438). from The Book of Margery Kempe. Margery Brews Paston (1457?-1495). Letters to her Valentine/fiance. Letter to her husband, John Paston. Elizabeth I (1533-1603). On Monsieur's Departure. When I Was Fair and Young. Mary Wroth (1587?-1653?). from Pamphilia to Amphilanthus. Aphra Behn (1640-1689). The Lucky Chance. Jane Barker (1652-1727). A Virgin Life. Delarivier Manley (1663-1724). from The New Atalantis. Eliza Haywood (1693?-1756). from The Female Spectator. Harriet Jacobs (1813?-1897). from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). Monna Innominata. Djuna Barnes (1892-1982). from Ladies Almanack. To the Dogs. Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950),. from Fatal Interview. Anne Sexton (1928-1974). The Abortion. In Celebration of My Uterus. For My Lover, Returning to His Wife. Audre Lorde (1934-1992). Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power. Love Poem. Chain. Restoration-A Memorial. Bharati Mukherjee (1938-). A Wife's Story. Toni Cade Bambara (1939-1996). My Man Bovanne. Sharon Olds (1942-). That Year. The Language of the Brag. The Girl. Sex Without Love. Slavenka Drakulic (1949-). Makeup and Other Crucial Questions. Joy Harjo (1951-). Fire. Deer Ghost. City of Fire. Heartshed. Dionne Brand (1953-). Madame Alaird's Breasts. Sandra Cisneros (1955-). I the Woman. Love Poem #1. Jackie Kay (1961-). Close Shave. Other Lovers. Intertextualities. Topics for Discussion, Journals, and Essays. Group Writing and Performance Exercise. Catherine Gallagher (1945-). Who Was That Masked Woman? The Prostitute and the Playwright in the Comedies of Aphra Behn. Shari Benstock (1944-). The Lesbian Other.
By championing the recovery of "lost" women writers and insisting on reevaluating the past, women's studies and feminist theory have effected dramatic changes in the ways English literary history is written and taught. According to Margaret Ezell, the next step is to examine critically these successful efforts to write women's literary history - to apply the same self-conscious feminism that critics turned on traditional methods of literary history. Examining various models of the new "tradition" of women's writing, Ezell explores the shared - usually unconscious - assumptions that underlie accounts of early women writers. When twentieth-century histories of women's literature rely not only on past male scholarship and editing practices but also on inherited notions of "tradition" and "progress," she argues, they tend to replicate an evolutionary model of history that marginalizes women who wrote before 1700. Drawing on the reading strategies of recent historicist scholarship, along with those of French feminism, Ezell illuminates the ways in which ideology shapes history and suggests new possibilities for the continued recovery of women's texts. "Writing women's literary history has been compared to doing archaeology, to receiving an inheritance, and to replanting a mother's garden. In writing this book, I am obviously starting with the belief in the value of this activity, however it is characterized. What concerns me in my reading of contemporary feminist theory is that the structures used to shape our narrative of women's literary history may have unconsciously continued the existence of the restrictive ideologies which initially erased the vast majority of women's writing from literary history and teaching texts."
Women, Literature and Finance in Victorian Britain: Cultures of Investment defines the cultures that emerged in response to the democratization of the stock market in nineteenth-century Britain when investing provided access to financial independence for women. Victorian novels represent those economic networks in realistic detail and are preoccupied with the intertwined economic and affective lives of characters. Analyzing evidence about the lives of real investors together with fictional examples, including case studies of four authors who were also investors, Nancy Henry argues that investing was not just something women did in Victorian Britain; it was a distinctly modern way of thinking about independence, risk, global communities and the future in general.
This study explores the mother-daughter relationship as the most fundamental and most intimate female relationship. It draws on both early and contemporary writings of Arab women to illuminate the traditional and evolving nature of mother-daughter relationships in Arab families and how these family dynamics reflect and influence modern Arab life.
This book highlights the multiplicity of American women’s writing related to liminality and hybridity from its beginnings to the contemporary moment. Often informed by notions of crossing, intersectionality, transition, and transformation, these concepts as they appear in American women’s writing contest as well as perpetuate exclusionary practices involving class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, and sex, among other variables. The collection’s introduction, three unit introductions, fourteen individual essays, and afterward facilitate a process of encounters, engagements, and conversations within, between, among, and across the rich polyphony that constitutes the creative acts of American women writers. The contributors offer fresh perspectives on canonical writers as well as introduce readers to new authors. As a whole, the collection demonstrates American women’s writing is “threshold writing,” or writing that occupies a liminal, hybrid space that both delimits borders and offers enticing openings.