American Socialist Triptych: The Literary-Political Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Upton Sinclair, and W. E. B. Du Bois explores the contributions of three writers to the development of American socialism over a fifty--year period and asserts the vitality of socialism in modern American literature and culture.
Drawing upon a wide range of texts including archival sources, Mark W. Van Wienen demonstrates the influence of reform-oriented, democratic socialism both in the careers of these writers and in U.S. politics between 1890 and 1940. While offering unprecedented in-depth analysis of modern American socialist literature, this book charts the path by which the supposedly impossible, dangerous ideals of a cooperative commonwealth were realized, in part, by the New Deal.
American Socialist Triptych provides in-depth, innovative readings of the featured writers and their engagement with socialist thought and action. Upton Sinclair represents the movement's most visible manifestation, the Socialist Party of America, founded in 1901; Charlotte Perkins Gilman reflects the socialist elements in both feminism and 1890s reform movements, and W. E. B. Du Bois illuminates social democratic aspirations within the NAACP. Van Wienen's book seeks to re-energize studies of Sinclair by treating him as a serious cultural figure whose career peaked not in the early success of The Jungle but in his nearly successful 1934 run for the California governorship. It also demonstrates as never before the centrality of socialism throughout Gilman's and Du Bois's literary and political careers.
More broadly, American Socialist Triptych challenges previous scholarship on American radical literature, which has focused almost exclusively on the 1930s and Communist writers. Van Wienen argues that radical democracy was not the phenomenon of a decade or of a single group but a sustained tradition dispersed within the culture, providing a useful genealogical explanation for how socialist ideas were actually implemented through the New Deal.
American Socialist Triptych also revises modern American literary history, arguing for the endurance of realist and utopian literary modes at the height of modernist literary experimentation and showing the importance of socialism not only to the three featured writers but also to their peers, including Edward Bellamy, Hamlin Garland, Jack London, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Claude McKay. Further, by demonstrating the importance of social democratic thought to feminist and African American campaigns for equality, the book dialogues with recent theories of radical egalitarianism. Readers interested in American literature, U.S. history, political theory, and race, gender, and class studies will all find in American Socialist Triptych a valuable and provocative resource.
A compelling critical investigation into Gilman’s conception of setting and place
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a Woman’s Place in America is a pioneering collection that probes how depictions of space, confinement, and liberation establish both the difficulty and necessity of female empowerment. Turning Victorian notions of propriety and a woman’s place on its ear, this finely crafted essay collection studies Gilman’s writings and the manner in which they push back against societal norms and reject male-dominated confines of space.
The contributors present fascinating and innovative readings of some of Gilman’s most significant works. By examining the settings in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Herland, for example, the volume analyzes Gilman’s construction of place, her representations of male dominance and female subjugation, and her analysis of the rules and obligations that women feel in conforming to their assigned place: the home.
Additionally, this volume delineates female resistance to this conformity. Contributors highlight how Gilman’s narrators often choose resistance over obedient captivity, breaking free of the spaces imposed upon them in order to seek or create their own habitats. Through biographical interpretations of Gilman’s work that focus on the author’s own renouncement of her “natural” role of wife and mother, contributors trace her relocation to the American West in an attempt to appropriate the masculinized spaces of work and social organization.
Engaging, well-researched, and deftly written, the essays in this collection will appeal to scholars of Gilman, literature, and gender issues alike.
Considers Gilman's place in American literary and social history by examining her relationships to other prominent intellectuals of her era.
By placing Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the company of her contemporaries, this collection seeks to correct misunderstandings of the feminist writer and lecturer as an isolated radical. Gilman believed and preached that no life is ever led in isolation; indeed, the cornerstone of her philosophy was the idea that "humanity is a relation."
Gilman's highly public and combative stances as a critic and social activist brought her into contact and conflict with many of the major thinkers and writers of the period, including Mary Austin, Margaret Sanger, Ambrose Bierce, Grace Ellery Channing, Lester Ward, Inez Haynes Gillmore, William Randolph Hearst, Karen Horney, William Dean Howells, Catharine Beecher, George Bernard Shaw, and Owen Wister. Gilman wrote on subjects as wide ranging as birth control, eugenics, race, women's rights and suffrage, psychology, Marxism, and literary aesthetics. Her many contributions to social, intellectual, and literary life at the turn of the 20th century raised the bar for future discourse, but at great personal and professional cost.
“These essays exemplify all the virtues of interdisciplinarity in consideration of that most multidisciplined of writers, Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The contributors simultaneously clarify and complicate our understanding of some of the more vexed areas of Gilman's work by engaging saliently with her theories of ethnicity, class, prostitution, and the dynamics of gender; posing difficult questions to contemporary feminist scholars; and providing sensitive and insightful guidance to a well-chosen and wide range of texts.”—Janet Beer, author of Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction
Jane Addams was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Now Citizen, Louise W. Knight's masterful biography, reveals Addams's early development as a political activist and social philosopher. In this book we observe a powerful mind grappling with the radical ideas of her age, most notably the ever-changing meanings of democracy.
Citizen covers the first half of Addams's life, from 1860 to 1899. Knight recounts how Addams, a child of a wealthy family in rural northern Illinois, longed for a life of larger purpose. She broadened her horizons through education, reading, and travel, and, after receiving an inheritance upon her father's death, moved to Chicago in 1889 to co-found Hull House, the city's first settlement house. Citizen shows vividly what the settlement house actually was—a neighborhood center for education and social gatherings—and describes how Addams learned of the abject working conditions in American factories, the unchecked power wielded by employers, the impact of corrupt local politics on city services, and the intolerable limits placed on women by their lack of voting rights. These experiences, Knight makes clear, transformed Addams. Always a believer in democracy as an abstraction, Addams came to understand that this national ideal was also a life philosophy and a mandate for civic activism by all.
As her story unfolds, Knight astutely captures the enigmatic Addams's compassionate personality as well as her flawed human side. Written in a strong narrative voice, Citizen is an insightful portrait of the formative years of a great American leader.
“Knight’s decision to focus on Addams’s early years is a stroke of genius. We know a great deal about Jane Addams the public figure. We know relatively little about how she made the transition from the 19th century to the 20th. In Knight’s book, Jane Addams comes to life. . . . Citizen is written neither to make money nor to gain academic tenure; it is a gift, meant to enlighten and improve. Jane Addams would have understood.”—Alan Wolfe, New YorkTimes Book Review
“My only complaint about the book is that there wasn’t more of it. . . . Knight honors Addams as an American original.”—Kathleen Dalton, ChicagoTribune
Until now, ethicists have said little about the body, limiting their comments on it to remarks made in passing or, at best, devoting a chapter to the subject. Embodied Care is the first work to argue for the body's centrality to care ethics, doing so by analyzing our corporeality at the phenomenological level. It develops the idea that our bodies are central to our morality, paying particular attention to the ways we come to care for one another.
Hamington's argues that human bodies are "built to care"; as a result, embodiment must be recognized as a central factor in moral consideration. He takes the reader on an exciting journey from modern care ethics to Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the body and then to Jane Addams's social activism and philosophy. The ideas in Embodied Care do not lead to yet another competing theory of morality; rather, they progress through theory and case studies to suggest that no theory of morality can be complete without a full consideration of the body.
Famous for her short fiction—most notably “The Yellow Wallpaper”—Charlotte Perkins Gilman also produced a vast body of nonfiction in tandem with her work as a Progressive-era feminist reformer. Rooted in groundbreaking research on Gilman’s extensive correspondence, publications, and speeches, this keenly argued intellectual biography reconstructs her controversial output and the heady context in which she produced it.
Judith Allen provides the first comprehensive assessment of Gilman’s complicated feminism by exploring the renowned writer’s theories of sexuality and evolutionary analyses of androcentric—or male-dominated—culture. These ideas, Allen shows, informed Gilman’s many contributions to the suffrage movement, the fight to abolish regulated prostitution, and efforts to legalize birth control. Restoring a previously overlooked public intellectual to her preeminent place in Progressive-era politics and the history of feminism at home and abroad, Allen’s landmark study provides the fullest account available of Gilman’s consequential life and profoundly influential work.
Jane Addams: A BIOGRAPHY
James Weber LinnIntroduction by Anne Firor Scott University of Illinois Press, 1935 Library of Congress HV28.A35L5 2000 | Dewey Decimal 361.92
Jane Addams is most widely remembered as a founder of Hull House, but her social vision extended far beyond Chicago's Halsted Street. The first real adventurer in the unexplored territory of social amelioration in America, Addams worked tirelessly on behalf of a multitude of social causes, including industrial and educational reform, drug laws, sanitation, disaster relief, and food purity. In 1931 she won the Nobel Prize for Peace, a tribute to the decades of energy and eloquence she devoted to eradicating intolerance and elevating human life to a more humane standard.
James Weber Linn's life of this forceful public figure offers a rare glimpse of the private Addams, from her childhood and schooling through her first efforts in public service and her rise to a position of national influence. Linn's biography is based on Addams's personal papers, which she turned over to him before she died: files of her manuscripts, published and unpublished, along with all of her letters and papers, from her first valentine to her last speech. Out of this treasure trove, in combination with Addams's substantial published works, he has written a unique life of his aunt, beautifully illuminating her private reflections and inner strength as well as her formidable public persona.
Jane Addams, a Writer's Life
Katherine Joslin University of Illinois Press, 2003 Library of Congress HV40.32.A33J67 2004 | Dewey Decimal 361.92
Jane Addams, a Writer's Life is an expansive, revealing, and refreshing reexamination of the renowned reformer as an imaginative writer. Jane Addams is best known for her groundbreaking social work at Hull-House, the force of her efforts toward Progressive political and social reform, and the bravery of her commitment to pacifism, for which she received the Nobel Peace Prize. Katherine Joslin moves beyond this history to present Addams as a literary figure, one whose writing employed a synthesis of fictional and analytical prose that appealed to a wide audience.
Joslin traces Addams's style from her early works, Philanthropy and Social Progress and her contributions to Hull House Maps and Papers, influenced by Florence Kelley, to her modernist and experimental last books, The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House and My Friend, Julia Lathrop, placing Addams in the context of other Chicago writers including Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, Harriet Monroe, Frank Norris and James T. Farrell. Joslin's close readings showcase Addams's distinguishing literary devices, such as using stories about people rather than sociological argument to make moral points. As Joslin pursues the argument that Addams's power as a public figure stemmed from the success of her books and essays, Addams herself emerges as a literary woman.
Using a rich array of newly available sources and contemporary methodologies from many disciplines, the ten original essays in this volume give a fresh appraisal of Addams as a theorist and practitioner of democracy. In an increasingly interdependent world, Addams's life work offers resources for activists, scholars, policy makers, and theorists alike. This volume demonstrates how scholars continue to interpret Addams as a model for transcending disciplinary boundaries, generating theory out of concrete experience, and keeping theory and practice in close and fruitful dialogue.
Contributors are Harriet Hyman Alonso, Victoria Bissell Brown, Wendy Chmielewski, Marilyn Fischer, Shannon Jackson, Louise W. Knight, Carol Nackenoff, Karen Pastorello, Wendy Sarvasay, Charlene Haddock Seigfried, and Camilla Stivers.
Jane Addams in the Classroom
Edited by David Schaafsma University of Illinois Press, 2014 Library of Congress LB875.A332J36 2014 | Dewey Decimal 306.432
Once intent on being good to people, Jane Addams later dedicated herself to the idea of being good with people, establishing mutually-responsive and reciprocal relationships with those she served at Hull House. The essays in Jane Addams in the Classroom explore how Addams's life, work, and philosophy provide invaluable lessons for teachers seeking connection with their students.
Balancing theoretical and practical considerations, the collection examines Addams's emphasis on listening to and learning from those around her and encourages contemporary educators to connect with students through innovative projects and teaching methods. In the first essays, Addams scholars lay out how her narratives drew on experience, history, and story to explicate theories she intended as guides to practice. Six teacher-scholars then establish Addams's ongoing relevance by connecting her principles to exciting events in their own classrooms. An examination of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award and a fictional essay on Addams's work and ideas round out the volume.
Accessible and wide-ranging, Jane Addams in the Classroom offers inspiration for educators while adding to the ongoing reconsideration of Addams's contributions to American thought.
In Jane Addams’s Evolutionary Theorizing, Marilyn Fischer advances the bold and original claim that Addams’s reasoning in her first book, Democracy and Social Ethics, is thoroughly evolutionary. While Democracy and Social Ethics, a foundational text of classical American pragmatism, is praised for advancing a sensitive and sophisticated method of ethical deliberation, Fischer is the first to explore its intellectual roots.
Examining essays Addams wrote in the 1890s and showing how they were revised for Democracy and Social Ethics, Fischer draws from philosophy, history, literature, rhetoric, and more to uncover the array of social evolutionary thought Addams engaged with in her texts—from British socialist writings on the evolution of democracy to British and German anthropological accounts of the evolution of morality. By excavating Addams’s evolutionary reasoning and rhetorical strategies, Fischer reveals the depth, subtlety, and richness of Addams’s thought.
Lines of Activity investigates the cultural life of the Hull-House Settlement of Chicago, one of the most significant reform institutions of the Progressive Era, from its founding in 1889 through its growth into a major social service institution. The study focuses specifically on the role of performance--not only theatrical representation, but also athletics, children's games, story-telling, festivals, living museums, and the practices of everyday life--to demonstrate how such cultural rituals could propel social activism at Hull-House and paradoxically serve as vehicles for both cultural expression and cultural assimilation.
This groundbreaking book demonstrates how performance analysis can contribute to the historical study of American reform as well as to critical inquiry on the arts and social change. She develops connections between performativity and sex/gender difference by interpreting Hull-House as a sphere of queer kinship and alternative gender performance. Lines of Activity also engages a variety of debates on the nature of historical representation, and the role of "theory" in historical writing.
As the notion of "performance historiography" gains currency, Jackson's study exposes the gender politics of such scholarly trends. By selecting the Progressive Era and Hull-House as arenas of inquiry, Jackson foregrounds how past discourses of domesticity, pragmatism, transnationalism, and environmentalism already contain performance-centered notions of identity, space, and community. Through these and other arguments, Lines of Activity reveals the intimate connection between a history of Hull-House performance and the performance of Hull-House history.
Shannon Jackson is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and of Dramatic Art and Dance, University of California, Berkeley.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1869-1935) was one of the leading intellectuals of the American women's movement in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Moving beyond the struggle for suffrage, Gilman confronted an even larger problem—economic and social discrimination against women. Her book, Women and Economics, published in 1898, was repeatedly printed and translated into seven languages. She was a tireless traveler, lecturer, and writer and is perhaps best known for her dramatic short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper." Gilman's autobiography gives us access to the life of a remarkable and courageous woman.
Originally published in 1935, soon after Gilman's death, The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman has been out of print for several years. This edition includes a new introduction by Gilman's noted biographer, Anne J. Lane.
Raising the Dust identifies a heretofore-overlooked literary phenomenon that author Beth Sutton-Ramspeck calls “literary housekeeping.” The three writers she examines rejected turn-of-the-century aestheticism and modernism in favor of a literature that is practical, even ostensibly mundane, designed to “set the human household in order.”
To Mary Augusta Ward, Sarah Grand, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, housekeeping represented public responsibilities: making the food supply safe, reforming politics, and improving the human race itself. Raising the Dust places their writing in the context of the late-Victorian era, in particular the eugenics movement, the proliferation of household conveniences, the home economics movement, and decreased reliance on servants. These changes affected relationships between the domestic sphere and the public sphere, and hence shaped the portrayal of domesticity in the era's fiction and nonfiction.
Moreover, Ward, Grand, and Gilman articulated a domestic aesthetic that swept away boundaries. Sutton-Ramspeck uncovers a new paradigm here: literature as engaging the public realm through the devices and perspectives of the domestic. Her innovative and ambitious book also connects fixations on cleaning with the discovery of germs (the first bacterium discovered was anthrax, and knowledge of its properties increased fears of dust); analyzes advertising cards for soap; and links the mental illness in Gilman's “The Yellow Wall-Paper” to fears during the period of arsenic poisoning from wallpaper.
Filling a void in Jane Addams scholarship, this first volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams collects extant documents from the formative years of the major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author. Documenting the early development of Addams's social principles, the documents reveal the leadership skills that led her into a life of public commitment.
For all her public compassion and visibility as an outspoken pacifist, Progressive reformer, and founder of Hull-House, Addams was an intensely private person who revealed her personal side only to family and close friends. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other writings from her childhood in Cedarville, Illinois, and her education at the Rockford Female Seminary, this volume provides heretofore unavailable insight into her developing ideas, educational experiences, and personal relationships.
More than just biographical records, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams defines the era in which Addams lived. Unique yet representative of the spiritual ideals and political sensibilities of post-Civil War women and society, Addams's lesser-known, personal writings are necessary reading for scholars and historians. The volume explores important themes, including the migration of families westward, the first generation of college women, and the religious and domestic lives of nineteenth-century Americans. The editors' rich annotation of individuals and events featured in the documents and appendix of biographical profiles represent a trove of primary research and place the documents in historical context.
Venturing into Usefulness, the second volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, documents the experience of this major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author between June 1881, when at twenty-one she had just graduated from Rockford Female Seminary, and early 1889, when she was on the verge of founding the Hull-House settlement with Ellen Gates Starr. During these years she evolved from a high-minded but inexperienced graduate of a women's seminary into an educated woman and seasoned traveler well-exposed to elite culture and circles of philanthropy. Themes inaugurated in the previous volume are expanded here, including dilemmas of family relations and gender roles; the history of education; the dynamics of female friendship; religious belief and ethical development; changes in opportunities for women; and the evolution of philanthropy, social welfare, and reform ideas.
Although there has been a resurgence of scholarly interest in Jane Addams, much of the recent literature has dwelt more on her extraordinary and pioneering life than on the philosophical contribution of her twelve books and hundreds of published articles. This study is the first book-length work to focus entirely on Addams as a philosopher, a moral and political theorist who was steeped in the classic American Pragmatist tradition but who transcended that tradition to emphasize the significance of gender, race, and class.
Exploring Addams's contribution to epistemology, ethics, and feminist theory, Maurice Hamington sets the intellectual framework for Addams's social philosophy by discussing her influences, her particular brand of feminism, and finally her unique analytical perspective, which she described as "sympathetic knowledge." The book also investigates how Addams applied her social philosophy to issues of politics, women's rights, prostitution, business ethics, education, and religion.
Addams's philosophical work remains relevant to current feminist ethical discourse, and The Social Philosophy of Jane Addams leads to an understanding of a cosmopolitan theorist who eschewed ideological stances in favor of intermediary steps toward social progress.
When did Americans first believe they were at the center of a truly global culture? How did they envision that culture and how much do recent attitudes toward globalization owe to their often utopian dreams? In Utopia and Cosmopolis Thomas Peyser asks these and other questions, offers a reevaluation of American literature and culture at the dawn of the twentieth century, and provides a new context for understanding contemporary debates about America’s relation to the rest of the world. Applying current theoretical work on globalization to the writing of authors as diverse as Edward Bellamy, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Dean Howells, and Henry James, Peyser reveals the ways in which turn-of-the-century American writers struggled to understand the future in a newly emerging global community. Because the pressures of globalization at once fostered the formation of an American national culture and made national culture less viable as a source of identity, authors grappled to find a form of fiction that could accommodate the contradictions of their condition. Utopia and Cosmopolis unites utopian and realist narratives in subtle, startling ways through an examination of these writers’ aspirations and anxieties. Whether exploring the first vision of a world brought together by the power of consumer culture, or showing how different cultures could be managed when reconceived as specimens in a museum, this book steadily extends the horizons within which late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literature and culture can be understood. Ranging widely over history, politics, philosophy, and literature, Utopia and Cosmopolis is an important contribution to debates about utopian thought, globalization, and American literature.
We Are a College at War weaves together the individual World War II experiences of students and faculty at the all-female Rockford College (now Rockford University) in Rockford, Illinois, to draw a broader picture of the role American women and college students played during this defining period in U.S. history. It uses the Rockford community’s letters, speeches, newspaper stories, and personal recollections to demonstrate how American women during the Second World War claimed the right to be everywhere—in factories and other traditionally male workplaces, and even on the front lines—and links their efforts to the rise of feminism and the fight for women’s rights in the 1960s and 1970s.
Scholars have argued for decades over which constitutes the best possible version of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s frequently anthologized story “The Yellow Wall-Paper.”
Most editions have been based on the 1892 New England Magazine publication rather than the handwritten manuscript at Radcliffe College. Publication of the unedited manuscript in 1994 sparked controversy over which of the two was definitive. Since then, scholars have discovered half a dozen parent texts for later twentieth-century printings, including William Dean Howells’s version from 1920 and the 1933 Golden Book version.
While traditional critical editions gather evidence and make an argument for adopting one text as preferable to others,“The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Dual-Text Critical Edition, edited by Shawn St. Jean, offers both manuscript and magazine versions, critically edited and printed in parallel for the first time. New significance appears in such facets as the magazine’s accompanying illustrations, its lineation and paragraphing, Gilman’s choice of pronouns, and her original handwritten ending.
This critical edition of “The Yellow Wall-Paper” includes a full and nontraditional apparatus, making it easy for students and scholars to study the more than four hundred variants between the two texts. Four new essays, written especially for this volume, explore the implications of this multitext model.