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Peter Barry

Feminism and feminist criticism The ‘women's movement’ of the 1960s was not, of course, the start of feminism. Rather, it was a renewal of an old tradition of thought and action already possessing its classic books which had diagnosed the problem of women's inequality in society, and (in some cases) proposed solutions. These books include Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), which discusses male writers like Milton, Pope, and Rousseau; Olive Schreiner's Women and Labour (1911); Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
Open Access (free)
Studies in intimacy

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.

Series: Beginnings

This book provides a sense of the continuing debates about postcolonialism while seeking to anchor some of its key themes and vocabularies securely. It takes as its primary focus, the various reading practices which distinguish and characterise much of the field - practices which for the purpose of this book attend chiefly to literary texts, but which can be applied beyond a strictly literary context to other cultural phenomena. The book introduces some major areas of enquiry within postcolonialism, as well as offers concrete examples of various kinds of relevant reading and writing practices. It provides a brief historical sketch of colonialism and decolonisation, providing the intellectual contexts and development of postcolonialism. The book approaches various attitudes towards nationalist representations in literary and other writings during the busy period of decolonisation in the 1950s and 1960s. It then deals with national traditions and national history, and the conflict between national liberation and imperialist domination. Divisions within the nation such as ethnicity, language, gender and eliteness which threaten the realisation of its progressive ideals are discussed, with attention on Partha Chatterjee's narrative of Indian nationalism and Chinua Achebe's novel Anthills of the Savannah. Other discussions include the re-reading of literary 'classics', the re-writing of received literary texts by postcolonial writers, postcolonial feminist criticism, and migration and diaspora in the context of decolonisation. The 'STOP and THINK' section in each chapter identify focal points of debate for readers to pursue critically.

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Mrinalini Sinha

, therefore, can demonstrate even more conclusively the impossibility of separating the feminist from the anti-colonial nationalist agenda. At another level, the study of colonial masculinity revises the boundaries of feminist criticism. Feminist scholarship has had little trouble in identifying the patriarchal gender system that has sustained the masculine sense of loss expressed in various

in Colonial masculinity
Linda Connolly

theorising will be cured of any dubious politics and deficiencies. New, complicated debates about feminism, nationalism and postcolonialism in Irish studies highlight a propensity for misrepresentation in a field that remains primarily focused on literary criticism. Prominent interventions to date in the debate about gender and postcolonialism demonstrate a particularly narrow focus on certain authors or texts in Irish feminist criticism and do not reference the true varieties of work that exists in Irish gender studies, more globally understood and practised.12 Very few

in Are the Irish different?
Close reading and the contingencies of history
Michael Schoenfeldt

writing far too frequently substituted for the profundity of the critic’s insights. Running parallel with the emergence of theory was the rise of feminism and feminist criticism. Particularly in its Renaissance manifestations, feminist criticism offered a dynamic blend of historicism, theory, and scholarship. With painstaking rigor and scholarly deliberation, feminist critics rescued texts and authors that are now a central part of our discussion of the period (Mary Wroth, Amelia Lanyer, Margaret Cavendish, Lucy Hutchinson, Katherine Philips, and Aphra Behn are just a

in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
The Story So Far and Some New Suggestions
Patsy Stoneman

)1. Others, like Elizabeth Gaskell’s, have been seen as irrelevant or even counterproductive. While Charlotte Brontë has attracted a mass of new feminist readings, Elizabeth Gaskell remains a respectable minor Victorian, colonised up to a point by Marxists, but almost ignored by feminists. This is partly a question of priorities. Although feminist criticism does not depend on congenial subject-matter, since any piece of writing will be imbued with assumptions about gender which it is the business of feminist criticism to make visible, it is understandable that feminist

in Elizabeth Gaskell
John McLeod

Some definitions Postcolonial feminist criticism is extensive and variable. Its analyses range across representations of women in once-colonised countries and in Western locations. Some critics have concentrated on the constructions of gender difference during the colonial period, in both colonial and anti-colonial discourses; while others have concerned themselves with the representations of women in postcolonial discourses, with particular reference to the work of women writers. At the level of theory, postcolonial feminist critics have raised a number of

in Beginning postcolonialism (second edition)
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Angela Carter and European Gothic
Rebecca Munford

monstrous mother, feminist criticism has re-inscribed the mother–daughter relationship in the female Gothic, often codifying the Gothic heroine’s journey of self-discovery within the labyrinthine spaces of the Gothic castle as an encounter with a spectral maternal presence. But does dramatising anxieties about female sexual identity as a ‘conflict with the all-powerful, devouring mother’ (Fleenor, 1983

in Decadent Daughters and Monstrous Mothers
Open Access (free)
Bronwen Price

Atlantis. Aughterson’s essay provides an analysis of the complex formulation of gender in Bacon’s text, arguing against the tendency of feminist criticism to view Bacon as the founding father of a thoroughly masculinised science. Instead, she shows how concepts of sexual difference and gender in the New Atlantis are connected to the ‘re-visioning’ across a range of areas that takes place in the text. By closely analysing its rhetoric, metaphors and allusions, Aughterson argues that Bacon’s fable questions clearcut sexual hierarchies and articulates a version of

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis