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Look Inside The Feminist Avant-Garde

The Feminist Avant-Garde
Transatlantic Encounters of the Early Twentieth Century

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  • Author: Lucy Delap, St Catharine's College, Cambridge
  • Date Published: December 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521124904

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About the Authors
  • In the early twentieth century the term 'feminist' was used by self-consciously 'modern' men and women, to distinguish their ideas from those of 'the women's movement', and even to adopt anti-suffrage positions. In the first major study of twentieth-century feminism as an Anglo-American phenomenon, Lucy Delap offers a unique perspective on the politics of gender during this period. Delap explores the intellectual history and cultural politics of Anglo-American feminism in a way that challenges the reader to rethink the nature of both the 'avant-garde' and 'feminism'. Focusing on the development of transnational feminisms within Edwardian and interwar print culture, feminist political argument is placed at the centre of an account of modernism, highlighting some unexpected and often uncomfortable components, including the feminist fascination with individualism and egoism; ambivalence over World War One; utopian thinking and captivation by the idea of 'the simple life'; anti-Semitism; sexual radicalism; and ideas about 'the superwoman'.

    • Draws on fresh and neglected primary sources in the history of feminism
    • Links the history of feminism to its contemporary Edwardian and interwar intellectual context
    • Integrates and contrasts the history of feminism for two national contexts
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    • Winner of the 2008 Women's History Network book prize.

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is an interesting, well-researched look at a vocal force in the women's movement."
    -Book News Inc.

    "Through innovative research and original archival work, she remaps the early twentieth-century intellectual public sphere by situating avant-garde feminists in conversation with the work of not only modernists and suffragists but also New Women, Fabians, egoists, antistatists, periodical editors, writers, and an elite reading public."
    -Project Muse

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521124904
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Fastidious, difficult, different': Anglo-American feminists
    2. Transatlantic interchanges and rival storm-centres
    3. Individualism in feminist political argument
    4. The state, the home and nurturing citizenship
    5. The endowment of motherhood controversy
    6. The modern and the pre-modern: feminist utopian thinking
    7. The genius and the superwoman: feminist appropriations
    8. Feminists and the impact of world war
    9. 'Ephemeral vanguardism': conclusions and post-war developments.

  • Author

    Lucy Delap, St Catharine's College, Cambridge


    • Winner of the 2008 Women's History Network book prize.

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