Feminist Literary History

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 8, 2018 - Literary Criticism - 168 pages
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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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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Early Work
17
2 Consolidation and Reaction
34
3 French theory
51
4 Confrontations
69
5 Directions
85
6 Readings of Mary Wollstonecraft
103
7 Men in Feminist Criticism
118
Conclusion
135
Notes
140
Bibliography
148
Index
157
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