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Women and Race in Early Modern Texts


  • Date Published: August 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521153379

£ 36.99

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About the Authors
  • Joyce Green MacDonald discusses the links between women's racial, sexual, and civic identities in early modern texts. She examines the scarcity of African women in English plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the racial identity of the women in the drama and also that of the women who watched and sometimes wrote the plays. The coverage also includes texts from the late fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, by, among others, Shakespeare, Jonson, Davenant, the Countess of Pembroke, and Aphra Behn. MacDonald articulates many of her discussions of early modern women's races through a comparative method, using insights drawn from critical race theory, women's history, and contemporary disputes over canonicity, multiculturalism, and Afrocentrism. Seeing women as identified by their race and social standing as well as by their sex, this book will add depth and dimension to discussions of women's writing and of gender in Renaissance literature.

    • Offers a view of how ideas about and representations of women's races appear differently during different periods
    • Discusses both Renaissance and Restoration, and eighteenth-century plays
    • Two of the plays discussed, Behn's Abdelazer and Phillips' Pompey, have not been the subject of much critical analysis when this book was published in 2002
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521153379
    • length: 200 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: women, race, and Renaissance texts
    1. Cleopatra: whiteness and knowledge
    2. Sex, race, and empire in Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
    3. Dido and Sophonisba of Carthage: marriage, race, and the bonds between men
    4. The disappearing African woman: Imoinda in Oroonoko after Behn
    5. Race, women, and the sentimental in Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko
    6. Chaste lines: writing and unwriting race in Katherine Phillips' Pompey
    7. The Queen's minion: sexual difference, racial difference, and Aphra Behn's Abdelazer
    Conclusion: 'the efficacy of imagination'

  • Author

    Joyce Green MacDonald, University of Kentucky

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