A History of Feminist Literary Criticism

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A HISTORY OF FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM

Feminism has transformed the academic study of literature, fundamentally altering the canon of what is taught and setting new agendas for literary analysis. In this authoritative history of feminist literary criticism, leading scholars chart the development of the practice from the Middle Ages to the present. The first section of the book explores protofeminist thought from the Middle Ages onwards, and analyses the work of pioneers such as Wollstonecraft and Woolf. The second section examines the rise of second-wave feminism and maps its interventions across the twentieth century. A final section examines the impact of postmodernism on feminist thought and practice. This book offers a comprehensive guide to the history and development of feminist literary criticism and a lively reassessment of the main issues and authors in the field. It is essential reading for all students and scholars of feminist writing and literary criticism. GILL PLAIN

is Professor of English at the University of St Andrews, is Professor of English at the University of St Andrews,

Scotland.
SUSAN SELLERS

Scotland.

A HISTORY OF FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM
EDITED BY

GILL PLAIN
AND

SUSAN SELLERS

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York www.cambridge.org Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521852555 © Cambridge University Press 2007 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published in print format 2007 eBook (NetLibrary) ISBN-13 978-0-511-34237-0 ISBN-10 0-511-34237-3 eBook (NetLibrary) hardback ISBN-13 978-0-521-85255-5 hardback ISBN-10 0-521-85255-2

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Contents

Acknowledgements Notes on contributors Introduction
Gill Plain and Susan Sellers
PART I PIONEERS AND PROTOFEMINISM

page vii viii

1 5 6 11 27 46 66 85 101 102 105
v

Introduction to Part I
Gill Plain

1 Medieval feminist criticism
Carolyn Dinshaw

2 Feminist criticism in the Renaissance and seventeenth century Helen Wilcox

3 Mary Wollstonecraft and her legacy
Susan Manly

4 The feminist criticism of Virginia Woolf
Jane Goldman

5 Simone de Beauvoir and the demystification of woman
Elizabeth Fallaize
PART II CREATING A FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM

Introduction to Part II
Gill Plain and Susan Sellers

6

Literary representations of women
Mary Eagleton

vi 7 8 9
Helen Carr

Contents A history of women’s writing 120 138 154 169 187 209 210 214 235 263 282 301 322 Autobiography and personal criticism Linda Anderson

Black feminist criticism
Arlene R. Keizer

10 Lesbian feminist criticism
Caroline Gonda

11

Men and feminist criticism
Calvin Thomas

PART III

POSTSTRUCTURALISM AND BEYOND

Introduction to Part III
Gill Plain and Susan Sellers

12 Feminist criticism and poststructuralism
Claire Colebrook

13 Feminist criticism and psychoanalysis
Madelon Sprengnether

14 French feminist criticism and writing the body
Judith Still

15 Postcolonial feminist criticism
Chris Weedon

16 Feminist criticism and queer theory
Heather Love

17 Feminist criticism and technologies of the body
Stacy Gillis

Postscript: flaming feminism?
Susan Gubar

336 342

Index

Acknowledgements

Our thanks are due to the School of English...
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