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.
Building Domestic Liberty offers a critical and admiring analysis of feminist philosopher Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). Polly Allen examines Gilman's approach to architecture, landscape, and neighborhood design and discusses Gilman's case against prevailing household design and looks at her philosophy of world improvement.
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.
During her lifetime, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) was a popular writer, public speaker, and social reformer whose literary interests ranged from short stories, novels, and nonfiction philosophical studies to poetry, newspaper columns, plays, and many other genres. Though she fell into obscurity after her death, there has been a resurgence of interest in Gilman’s works among literary scholars.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman: New Texts, New Contexts represents a new phase of feminist scholarship in recovery, drawing readers’ attention to Gilman’s lesser-known works from fresh perspectives that revise what we thought we knew about the author and her work. Volume contributors consider an array of texts that have not yet enjoyed adequate critical scrutiny, including Gilman’s short fiction, drama, and writing for periodicals, as well as her long fiction. Similarly, incorporating careful archival, biographical, and historical research, contributors explore Gilman’s life and writings—including her most famous story, “The Yellow Wall-Paper”—through strikingly new critical lenses. Other essays included here assess Gilman’s place in a longer historical trajectory and within multiple rhetorical traditions, from the genre of feminist humor to the canon of African American women’s literary production.
“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
The massive size of the original six-volume History of Woman Suffrage has likely limited its impact on the lives of the women who benefitted from the efforts of the pioneering suffragists. By collecting miscellanies like state suffrage reports and speeches of every sort without interpretation or restraint, the set was often neglected as impenetrable.
In their Concise History of Woman Suffrage, Mari Jo Buhle and Paul Buhle have revitalized this classic text by carefully selecting from among its best material. The eighty-two chosen documents, now including interpretative introductory material by the editors, give researchers easy access to material that the original work's arrangement often caused readers to ignore or to overlook.
The volume contains the work of many reform agitators, among them Angelina Grimké, Lucy Stone, Carrie Chapman Catt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anna Howard Shaw, Jane Addams, Sojourner Truth, and Victoria Woodhull, as well as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman Duke University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS1744.G57C78 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
Long out of print, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel The Crux is an important early feminist work that brings to the fore complicated issues of gender, citizenship, eugenics, and frontier nationalism. First published serially in the feminist journal The Forerunner in 1910, The Crux tells the story of a group of New England women who move west to start a boardinghouse for men in Colorado. The innocent central character, Vivian Lane, falls in love with Morton Elder, who has both gonorrhea and syphilis. The concern of the novel is not so much that Vivian will catch syphilis, but that, if she were to marry and have children with Morton, she would harm the "national stock." The novel was written, in Gilman’s words, as a "story . . . for young women to read . . . in order that they may protect themselves and their children to come." What was to be protected was the civic imperative to produce "pureblooded" citizens for a utopian ideal.
Dana Seitler’s introduction provides historical context, revealing The Crux as an allegory for social and political anxieties—including the rampant insecurities over contagion and disease—in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century. Seitler highlights the importance of The Crux to understandings of Gilman’s body of work specifically and early feminism more generally. She shows how the novel complicates critical history by illustrating the biological argument undergirding Gilman’s feminism. Indeed, The Crux demonstrates how popular conceptions of eugenic science were attractive to feminist authors and intellectuals because they suggested that ideologies of national progress and U.S. expansionism depended as much on women and motherhood as on masculine contest.
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.
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.
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.
What Diantha Did
Charlotte Perkins Gilman Duke University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS1744.G57W47 2005 | Dewey Decimal 813.4
This edition of What Diantha Did makes newly available Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s first novel, complete with an in-depth introduction. First published serially in Gilman’s magazine TheForerunner in 1909–10, the novel tells the story of Diantha Bell, a young woman who leaves her home and her fiancé to start a housecleaning business. A resourceful heroine, Diantha quickly expands her business into an enterprise that includes a maid service, cooked food delivery service, restaurant, and hotel. By assigning a cash value to women’s “invisible” work, providing a means for the well-being and moral uplift of working girls, and releasing middle-class and leisure-class women from the burden of conventional domestic chores, Diantha proves to her family and community the benefits of professionalized housekeeping.
In her introduction to the novel, Charlotte J. Rich highlights Gilman’s engagement with such hotly debated Progressive Era issues as the “servant question,” the rise of domestic science, and middle-class efforts to protect and aid the working girl. She illuminates the novel’s connections to Gilman’s other feminist works, including “The Yellow Wall-Paper” and Herland; to her personal life; and to her commitment to women’s social and economic freedom. Rich contends that the novel’s engagement with class and race makes it particularly significant to the newly complex understanding of Gilman that has emerged in recent scholarship. What Diantha Did provides essential insight into Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s important legacy of social thought.
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.