Since the publication of The Woman Warrior in 1976, Maxine Hong Kingston has gained a reputation as one of the most popular—and controversial—writers in the Asian American literary tradition. This book traces her development as a writer and cultural activist through both ethnic and feminist discourses, investigating her novels, occasional writings, and her two-book ‘life-writing project’. The publication of The Woman Warrior not only propelled Kingston into the mainstream literary limelight, but also precipitated a vicious and ongoing controversy in Asian American letters over the authenticity—or fakery—of her cultural references. This book traces the debates through the appearance of China Men (1981), as well as the novel Tripmaster Monkey (1989) and her most recent work The Fifth Book of Peace.
Carter‘s fiction sits uneasily in relation to both Gothic and feminist discourses, especially as they converge through the category of the ‘female Gothic’. Owing to her interest in pornography and her engagement with the sexual/textual violence of specifically ‘male Gothic’ scripts – for example, the Gothic scenarios of Sade, Poe, Hoffmann, Baudelaire and Stoker – Carter‘s Gothic heroines have frequently been censured as little more than objects of sadistic male desires by feminist critics. This article re-reads Carter‘s sexual/textual violations – her defiance of dominant feminist and Gothic categories and categorisations – through the problematic of (post-)feminist discourse and, especially, the tension between ‘victim’ and ‘power’ feminisms as prefigured in her own (Gothic) treatise on female sexual identity, The Sadeian Woman (1979). Mapping the trajectory of her Gothic heroine from Ghislaine in Shadow Dance (1966) to Fevvers in Nights at the Circus (1984), it re-contextualises Carters engagements with the Gothic as a dialogue with both the female Gothic and feminist discourse.
responsibility to the wandering member of the British race, who may
be without ties in a new country. For such members may work great
damage to their own and to other races if they have not means of
recreation or of fellowship, but live in dangerous
loneliness.’ 5 In feministdiscourse, mobile men were
dangerous men and the wandering members of the British race –
the nomad tribe, the
fable’ ( BL Add MS88899/1/84 ). This chapter is
concerned, in part, with bodying forth – or awakening – the
spectral presence of the Gothic in The Sadeian Woman to realign
its political and aesthetic matters. To that end it explores the Gothic
as a site for the intersection of Sadeian and feministdiscourses of
The figure of Sleeping Beauty
Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval English studies, Dating Beowulf: studies in intimacy playfully redeploys the word ‘dating’, which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. This volume presents an argument for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice versa, while offering a riposte to anti-feminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, feminist criticism, literary theory, Old English literature, and medieval studies alike. To this end, the chapters embody a range of critical approaches, from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to Actor-Network theory, all organized into clusters that articulate new modes of intimacy with the poem.
This book examines how the identities of women and girls in colonial India were shaped by interaction with each other, a masculine raj and feminist and non-feminist philanthropists situated mostly outside India. These identities were determined by the emotional and sexual needs of men, racial hybridity, mission and religious orders, European accomplishments mentalities, restricted teacher professionalism and far more expansive medical care interaction. This powerful vista is viewed mostly through the imagery of feminine sensibility rather than feminism as the most consistent but changing terrain of self-actualisation and dispute over the long time period of the book. National, international and colonial networks of interaction could build vibrant colonial, female identities, while just as easily creating dystopias of female exploitation and abuse. These networks were different in each period under study in the book, emerging and withering away as the interplay of state imperatives and female domesticity, professionalism and piety changed over time. Based on extensive archival work in many countries, the book provides important context for studies of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century colonial women in many colonial domains. The book also explains why colonial mentalities regarding females in India were so different to those on the nationalist side of the story in the early twentieth-century. This was even when feminist discourse was offered by a failing raj to claim new modernity after World War One and when key women activists in India chose, instead, to cross over to occupy spaces of Indian asceticism and community living.
This chapter investigates Catherine Deneuve's films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. It argues that Deneuve's inconsistent approach to feminist issues during the 1970s can be seen as a metonymical of the wider contradictions inherent to France's political culture during this decade, specifically in terms of the conflict that existed between liberalism and conservatism. France and its government's contradictory approach towards the condition of women's lives during the 1970s will provide a contextual background to Deneuve's own engagement with feminist discourses during this decade. The chapter explores the diversity of Deneuve's 1970s filmography through three key films: A nous deux, Courage fuyons and Zig zig. It also considers how Deneuve's contradictory star persona manifests itself within these films, and how each text might signal varying degrees of anti-feminism.
In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.