Feminist Literary History

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John Wiley & Sons, May 8, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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In this timely book Janet Todd offers an analysis and defence ofthe feminist literary history practised by Elaine Showalter andother contemporary American literary critics. She argues that thisapproach rightly links the political concerns of feminist criticismto the uncovering of female voices embedded in history.

Todd reconstructs the development of feminist literary history fromthe 1960s through to the present day, highlighting the centralthemes as well as the strengths and weaknesses. She then examinesthe debate between American feminist critics, on the one hand, andfeminist critics inspired by the work of French theorists such asKristeva, Irigaray and Cixous, on the other. She defends feministliterary history against its critics and casts doubt on some of theuses of psychoanalysis in feminism. Todd also considers the debatewith men and assesses the relevance of academic analyses of gender,masculinity and homosexuality.

Feminist Literary History is a forceful and committed work, whichaddresses some of the most important issues in contemporaryfeminist theory and literary criticism. It will be widely read asan introductory text by students in English literature, modernlanguages, women's studies and cultural studies.

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