Black Internationalist Feminism examines how African American women writers affiliated themselves with the post-World War II Black Communist Left and developed a distinct strand of feminism. This vital yet largely overlooked feminist tradition built upon and critically retheorized the postwar Left's "nationalist internationalism," which connected the liberation of Blacks in the United States to the liberation of Third World nations and the worldwide proletariat. Black internationalist feminism critiques racist, heteronormative, and masculinist articulations of nationalism while maintaining the importance of national liberation movements for achieving Black women's social, political, and economic rights.
Cheryl Higashida shows how Claudia Jones, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Rosa Guy, Audre Lorde, and Maya Angelou worked within and against established literary forms to demonstrate that nationalist internationalism was linked to struggles against heterosexism and patriarchy. Exploring a diverse range of plays, novels, essays, poetry, and reportage, Higashida illustrates how literature is a crucial lens for studying Black internationalist feminism because these authors were at the forefront of bringing the perspectives and problems of black women to light against their marginalization and silencing.
In examining writing by Black Left women from 1945–1995, Black Internationalist Feminism contributes to recent efforts to rehistoricize the Old Left, Civil Rights, Black Power, and second-wave Black women's movements.
At the turn of the century, short stories by -- and often about -- "New Women" flooded the pages English and American magazines such as the Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, and the Yellow Book. This daring new fiction, often innovative in form and courageous in its candid representations of female sexuality, marital discontent, and feminist protest, shocked Victorian critics, who denounced the authors as "literary degenerates" or "erotomaniacs." This collection brings together twenty of the most original and important stories from this period. The writers included in this highly readable volume are Kate Chopin, Victoria Cross, George Egerton, Julia Constance Fletcher, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sarah Grand, Vernon Lee, Ada Leverson, Charlotte Mew, Olive Schreiner, Edith Wharton, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Mabel E. Wotton. As Elaine Showalter shows in her introduction, the short fiction of the Fin-de-Siecle is the missing link between the Golden Age of Victorian women writers and the new era of feminist modernism. Elaine Showalter is a professor of English at Princeton University. She is the author of A Literature of Their Own, The Female Malady, and other books, and editor of Alternative Alcott, a volume in the American Women Writers Series
The prevailing assumption regarding the Victorians’ relationship to ancient Greece is that Greek knowledge constituted an exclusive discourse within elite male domains. Heretical Hellenism: Women Writers, Ancient Greece, and the Victorian Popular Imagination challenges that theory and argues that while the information women received from popular sources was fragmentary and often fostered intellectual insecurities, it was precisely the ineffability of the Greek world refracted through popular sources and reconceived through new fields of study that appealed to women writers’ imaginations.
Examining underconsidered sources such as theater history and popular journals, Shanyn Fiske uncovers the many ways that women acquired knowledge of Greek literature, history, and philosophy without formal classical training. Through discussions of women writers such as Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Jane Harrison, Heretical Hellenism demonstrates that women established the foundations of a heretical challenge to traditional humanist assumptions about the uniformity of classical knowledge and about women’s place in literary history.
Heretical Hellenism provides a historical rationale for a more expansive definition of classical knowledge and offers an interdisciplinary method for understanding the place of classics both in the nineteenth century and in our own time.
During the nineteenth century, British society was making rapid advancements in science and technology. While the men became materially productive, women were expected to be the fulcrums of society's changes. As one means of adjusting to these changes, many women focused on supernaturalism and spirituality.
In Victorian Ghosts in the Noontide, Vanessa D. Dickerson analyzes women's spirituality in a materialistic age by examining the supernatural fiction of Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot and provides interpretive readings of familiar texts like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Other works by lesser-known authors are also examined.
Technological advances eliminated many of the jobs women were accustomed to doing. This left women looking for their place in society. A sense of "in-betweenness" developed in these women who were now expected to attend not only to the physical but also to the moral and spiritual needs of the family. As an answer to this "in-betweenness" some channeled their power toward the art of writing. Because people in the mid-1800s were so thoroughly engaged in scientific thought and advancements, supernatural folklore and spirituality were disreputable ideas for anyone, especially women, to explore. Ghosts and spirits were tied to old-wives' tales, superstitions, and legends. However, by focusing on these concepts and using fiction as an outlet, women were able to make great strides in being seen and heard. The art of writing functioned as an exploration of their spiritualism in which women discovered expression, freedom, and power.
This perceptive, well-written book will add a new dimension to our understanding of women's supernatural writings of the Victorian era. Scholars of Victorian literature, women's studies, and popular culture will benefit from its insights.
The temperance movement was the largest single organizing force for women in American history, uniting and empowering women seeking to enact social change. By the end of the century, more than two hundred thousand women had become members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and numerous others belonged to smaller temperance organizations. Despite the impact of the movement, its literature has been largely neglected.
In this collection of nineteen temperance tales, Carol Mattingly has recovered and revalued previously unavailable writing by women. Mattingly’s introduction provides a context for these stories, locating the pieces within the temperance movement as well as within larger issues in women’s studies.
The temperance movement was essential to women’s awareness of and efforts to change gender inequalities in the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In their fiction, temperance writers protested physical and emotional abuse at the hands of men, argued for women’s rights, addressed legal concerns, such as divorce and child custody, and denounced gender-biased decisions affecting the care and rights of children. Temperance fiction by women broadens our understanding of the connections between women’s rights and temperance, while shedding light on women’s thinking and behavior in the nineteenth century.
Water Drops from Women Writers features biographical sketches of each writer as well as thirteen illustrations.
Beginning with Sappho in the seventh century B.C.E and ending with Egeria in the fifth century C.E., Snyder profiles ancient Greek and Roman women writers, including lyric and elegiac poets and philosophers and other prose writers. The writers are allowed to speak for themselves, with as much translation from their extant works provided in text as possible. In addition to giving readers biographical and cultural context for the writers and their works, Snyder refutes arguments representing prejudicial attitudes about women’s writing found in the scholarly literature. Covering writers from a wide historical span, this volume provides an engaging and informative introduction to the origins of the tradition of women’s writing in the West.
Women Writers of the American West, 1833–1927 recovers the names and works of hundreds of women who wrote about the American West during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some of them long forgotten and others better known novelists, poets, memoirists, and historians such as Willa Cather and Mary Austin Holley. Nina Baym mined literary and cultural histories, anthologies, scholarly essays, catalogs, advertisements, and online resources to debunk critical assumptions that women did not publish about the West as much as they did about other regions. Elucidating a substantial body of nearly 650 books of all kinds by more than 300 writers, Baym reveals how the authors showed women making lives for themselves in the West, how they represented the diverse region, and how they represented themselves.
Baym accounts for a wide range of genres and geographies, affirming that the literature of the West was always more than cowboy tales and dime novels. Nor did the West consist of a single landscape, as women living in the expanses of Texas saw a different world from that seen by women in gold rush California. Although many women writers of the American West accepted domestic agendas crucial to the development of families, farms, and businesses, they also found ways to be forceful agents of change, whether by taking on political positions, deriding male arrogance, or, as their voluminous published works show, speaking out when they were expected to be silent.