Women in Dada: Essays on Sex, Gender, and Identity

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Naomi Sawelson-Gorse
MIT Press, 2001 - Art - 686 pages
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Finally, a look at the role of women in the shaping of the high-spirited -- but hardly feminist -- Dada monement.

For all of its iconoclasm, the Dada spirit was not without repression, and the Dada movement was not without misogynist tendencies. Indeed, the word Dada evokes the idea of the male--both as father and as domineering authority. Thus female colleagues were to be seen not heard, nurturers not usurpers, pleasant not disruptive.This book is the first to make the case that women's changing role in European and American society was critical to Dada. Debates about birth control and suffrage, a declining male population and expanding female workforce, the emergence of the New Woman, and Freudianism were among the forces that contributed to the Dadaist enterprise.

Among the female dadaists discussed are the German émigré Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven; Berlin dadaist Hannah Höch; French dadaists Juliette Roche and Suzanne Duchamp; Zurich dadaists Sophie Taeuber and Emmy Hennings; expatriate poet and artist Mina Loy; the "Queen of Greenwich Village," Clara Tice; Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap, the lesbian couple who ran The Little Review; and Beatrice Wood, who died in 1998 at the age of 105. The book also addresses issues of colonialist racism, cross-dressing and dandyism, and the gendering of the machine. The bibliography was compiled by the International Dada Archive (Timothy Shipe and Rudolf E. Kuenzli).

Eleanor S. Apter, Barbara J. Bloemink, Willard Bohn, Carolyn Burke, William A. Camfield, Whitney Chadwick, Dorothea Dietrich, Susan Fillin-Yeh, Paul B. Franklin, Renée Riese Hubert, Marisa Januzzi, Amelia Jones, Marie T. Keller, Rudolf E. Kuenzli, Maud Lavin, Margaret A. Morgan, Dickran Tashjian, Elizabeth Hutton Turner, Barbara Zabel


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Women in Dada: essays on sex, gender, and identity

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Given its heyday between the years 1916 and 1924, it is no surprise misogyny prevailed in the Dada movement. Thus, the editors surmise the need and rationale for this new study of Dada's lesser-known ... Read full review


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About the author (2001)

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse is a California-based scholar and curator.

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