Feminist Literary History
In this timely book Janet Todd offers an analysis and defence of the feminist literary history practised by Elaine Showalter and other contemporary American literary critics. She argues that this approach rightly links the political concerns of feminist criticism to the uncovering of female voices embedded in history.
Todd reconstructs the development of feminist literary history from the 1960s through to the present day, highlighting the central themes as well as the strengths and weaknesses. She then examines the debate between American feminist critics, on the one hand, and feminist critics inspired by the work of French theorists such as Kristeva, Irigaray and Cixous, on the other. She defends feminist literary history against its critics and casts doubt on some of the uses of psychoanalysis in feminism. Todd also considers the debate with men and assesses the relevance of academic analyses of gender, masculinity and homosexuality.
Feminist Literary History is a forceful and committed work, which addresses some of the most important issues in contemporary feminist theory and literary criticism. It will be widely read as an introductory text by students in English literature, modern languages, women's studies and cultural studies.
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academic Adrienne Rich aesthetic Alice Jardine American feminist criticism analysis argued assumptions authority awareness becomes Britain British canon Cixous constructed context critique culture deconstruction Derrida desire discourse dominant Eagleton early Elaine Showalter emphasis enterprise essay essentialist example female experience feminine writing feminism Feminist Literary Criticism feminist literary history fiction French feminists French theory gender genre Gilbert and Gubar gynocritics heroine historical criticism idea identity ideology inevitably insisted intellectual Irigaray Jane Austen Jane Gallop Julia Kristeva Kaplan Kate Millett Kristeva Lacan Lacanian language less literary criticism male critics marginal Marxist Mary Jacobus Mary Wollstonecraft masculinity men’s metaphor misogyny mode mother myths notion novel oppression past patriarchal poetry political Poovey privileged psychoanalysis psychoanalytical criticism question rape reader reading repressed Romantic Sandra Gilbert seems Sexual Difference Showalter’s simply social specific story symbolic theoretical Toril Moi tradition truth University Virginia Woolf women writers Women’s Literature Woolf Wrongs of Woman