With a little help from Virginia Woolf, Susan Gubar contemplates startling transformations produced by the women's movement in recent decades. What advances have women made and what still needs to be done? Taking Woolf's classic A Room of One's Own as her guide, Gubar engages these questions by recounting one year in the life of an English professor.
A meditation on the teaching of literature and on the state of the humanities today, her chapters also provide a crash course on the challenges and changes in feminist intellectual history over the past several decades: the influence of post-structuralism and of critical race, postcolonial, and cultural studies scholarship; the stakes of queer theory and the institutionalization of women's studies; and the effects of globalism and bioengineering on conversations about gender, sex, and sexuality. Yet Rooms of Our Own eschews a scholarly approach. Instead, through narrative criticism it enlists a thoroughly contemporary cast of characters who tell us as much about the comedies and tragedies of campus life today as they do about the sometimes contentious but invariably liberating feminisms of our future.