Selected from the first thirty issues of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, the thirteen articles in this volume indicate salient trends in feminist scholarship since 1975. Covering a wide variety of disciplines, this collection is representative of that scholarship, which has permanently altered accustomed patterns of thought by challenging basic theoretical frameworks in many academic disciplines. The contributors to this volume are Joan Kelly-Gadol, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Fatima Mernissi, Myra Jehlen, Elaine H. Pagels, Evelyn Fox Keller, Donna Haraway, Adrienne Rich, Diane K. Lewis, Heidi Hartmann, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Judith Herman, and Lisa Hirchman, and Helene Cixous.
"A stunning, brilliant, absolutely compelling reading of Woolf through the lens of Kleinian and Freudian psychoanalytic debates about the primacy of maternality and paternality in the construction of consciousness, gender, politics, and the past, and of psychoanalysis through the lens of Woolf's novels and essays. In addition to transforming our understanding of Woolf, this book radically expands our understanding of the historicity and contingent construction of psychoanalytic theory and our vision of the potential of psychoanalytic feminism."—Nancy J. Chodorow, University of California at Berkeley
"Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis brings Woolf's extraordinary craftsmanship back into view; the book combines powerful claims about sexual politics and intellectual history with the sort of meticulous, imaginative close reading that leaves us, simply, seeing much more in Woolf's words than we did before. It is the most exciting book on Woolf to come along in some time."—Lisa Ruddick, Modern Philology
Questions of female development shape women’s studies in many fields as women seek to define those forces which mold their experiences. Surprisingly, this is the first book to study systematically and from a comparative perspective the female novel of development, or Bildungsroman. Prevailing definitions of the Bildungsroman derive from the conceptions of development based on male experience. The book offers an expanded generic model that incorporates the distinctively female patterns of realization and failed realization which emerge from the limited social opportunities depicted in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century novel and from the particular features of women’s maturation as revealed by recent feminist psychoanalytic research.