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A History of Feminist Literary Criticism
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  • Page extent: 364 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.728 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521852555)

Feminism has transformed the academic study of literature, fundamentally altering the canon of what is taught and setting new agendas for literary analysis. In this authoritative history of feminist literary criticism, leading scholars chart the development of the practice from the Middle Ages to the present. The first section of the book explores protofeminist thought from the Middle Ages onwards, and analyses the work of pioneers such as Wollstonecraft and Woolf. The second section examines the rise of second-wave feminism and maps its interventions across the twentieth century. A final section examines the impact of postmodernism on feminist thought and practice. This book offers a comprehensive guide to the history and development of feminist literary criticism and a lively reassessment of the main issues and authors in the field. It is essential reading for all students and scholars of feminist writing and literary criticism.

• An up to date, authoritative overview of the state of the field • Coverage of feminist writing and theory since the middle ages • This was the first comprehensive history of feminist criticism by leading scholars


Introduction Gill Plain and Susan Sellers; Part I. Pioneers and Protofeminism: Introduction Gill Plain; 1. Medieval feminist criticism Carolyn Dinshaw; 2. Feminist criticism in the Renaissance and seventeenth century Helen Wilcox; 3. Mary Wollstonecraft and her legacy Susan Manly; 4. The feminist criticism of Virginia Woolf Jane Goldman; 5. Simone de Beauvoir and the demystification of woman Elizabeth Fallaize; Part II. Creating a Feminist Literary Criticism: Introduction Gill Plain and Susan Sellers; 6. Literary representations of women Mary Eagleton; 7. A history of women's writing Helen Carr; 8. Autobiography and personal criticism Linda Anderson; 9. Black feminist criticism Arlene Keizer; 10. Lesbian feminist criticism Caroline Gonda; 11. Men in feminism Calvin Thomas; Part III. Poststructuralism and Beyond: Introduction Gill Plain and Susan Sellers; 12. Feminist criticism and poststructuralism Claire Colebrook; 13. Feminist criticism and psychoanalysis Madelon Sprengnether; 14. French feminist criticism and writing the body Judith Still; 15. Postcolonial feminist criticism Chris Weedon; 16. Feminist criticism and queer theory Heather Love; 17. Feminist criticism and technologies of the body Stacy Gillis; Postscript: flaming feminism? Susan Gubar; Bibliography.


'Written with a consistently lucid and engaging tone, it accomplishes a dual goal in providing a compelling introduction for students of the discipline and putting forward a range of fresh intellectual insights.' Christine Lees, The Times Literary Supplement

'In fact, there could be no stronger testament to the continued relevance and importance of feminist literary criticism than this fresh and up-to-date examination of women's writing, gender and politics from the Middle Ages to the present.' Lisa Regan, Feminist Theory

'[The text] is designed to serve an introductory function, but goes beyond acquainting readers with the major strands and debates of feminist literary criticism. … Indeed, this work can serve as a reference and provide points for further debate to more advanced students and scholars.' Bonnie Kime Scott, Review of English Studies


Gill Plain, Susan Sellers, Carolyn Dinshaw, Helen Wilcox, Susan Manly, Jane Goldman, Elizabeth Fallaize, Mary Eagleton, Helen Carr, Linda Anderson, Arlene Keizer, Caroline Gonda, Calvin Thomas, Claire Colebrook, Madelon Sprengnether, Judith Still, Chris Weedon, Heather Love, Stacy Gillis, Susan Gubar

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