Feminist Literary Theory : A Reader

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-12-20
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Now in its third edition, Feminist Literary Theory remains the most comprehensive, single volume introduction to a vital and diverse field Fully revised and updated to reflect changes in the field over the last decade Includes extracts from all the major critics, critical approaches and theoretical positions in contemporary feminist literary studies Features a new section, Writing 'Glocal', which covers feminism's dialogue with postcolonial, global and spatial studies Revised chapter introductions provide readers with helpful contextual information while extensive notes offer recommendations for further reading

Author Biography

Mary Eagleton is Professor of Contemporary Women’s Writing at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. She has published extensively in the field of feminist literary theory and contemporary women’s writing, including Feminist Literary Criticism (1991), Working With Feminist Criticism (Wiley-Blackwell, 1996), A Concise Companion to Feminist Theory (Wiley-Blackwell, 2003) and Figuring the Woman Author in Contemporary Fiction (2005). She is founding Co-editor of the journal, Contemporary Women’s Writing.

Table of Contents

Below is a brief indication of possible changes. The texts referenced are indicative rather than final choices..Chapter 1 Finding a Female Tradition.The chapter will maintain the existing trajectory: finding a tradition; sense of different traditions; questions of value; danger of reinforcing the given; female versus feminine. Some extracts will be cut and Spivak's 'French Feminism in an International Frame' will be moved to Chapter 7. This will allow space for a new emphasis on the politics of canon formation: Guillory (1993); Eagleton (1996); Hemmings (2005)..Chapter 2 Women and Literary Production.I should like to change somewhat the emphasis of this chapter. The concern with the problems women have had historically in gaining access to literary production is valid but more consideration needs to be given to the active marketing of 'the woman author' in recent years. The chapter would also address areas which, as indicated in the Introduction to this chapter (1996, p. 71), were under-researched at that time but have now received more attention: the history of feminist publishing (Murray 2004), the impact of the book club (Hartley 2002) and the digital revolution (Plant 1997)..Chapter 3 Gender and Genre.This chapter needs rather more substantial restructuring to give space for recent developments. The focus on the novel will remain, though enhanced by other debates - for example, on the middle-brow/woman's novel (Radner 1995; Hanson 2000) or on the novel and the nation (Dubey 1994; Sterne 1997). Some extracts on generic fiction will be cut and material on sensation fiction added (Pykett 1992; Gilbert 1997). The cuts will also allow consideration of autobiography (Anderson 2001; Cosslett et al. 2000), travel writing (Pratt 1992; Kabbani 1994), chick lit (Whelehan 2005; Ferriss and Mallory 2005) and, possibly, myth and fairy tale (Sellers 2001). The work on autobiography will be cross-referenced to Chapter 6 and that on travel writing to Chapter 7..Chapter 4 Towards Definitions of Feminist Writing.This chapter illustrates a range of feminist positions from the highly prescriptive to the most deconstructive. In the new edition, more space would be given to the latter rather than the former since the opening up of feminism to other theories has been the dominant mode of recent years. The new focus would be on the 'queering' of feminist literary theory (Sedgwick 1993; Boone 1998) and on the impact - somewhat debatable - of 'third-wave' feminism (Gillis et al. 2004; Heywood 2005). Arguments about feminism's use of 'male' theory will be explored through Grosz (1994) and Moi (1997)..Chapter 5 Writing, Reading and Difference.The major gap in this chapter is that it did not include material on the 'death of the Author' thesis so difference with respect to reading is well covered but less so with respect to authorship. Important work on the specific, embodied position of the woman author is evident in Miller (1988), Grosz (1995), Burke (1999). I should also like to make reference to the historical practices of women's reading - for example, Flint 1993. This could be accommodated by cutting back somewhat on the number of extracts on reading and difference and those exploring French theory..Chapter 6 Locating the Subject.The chapter would update the argument about 'woman' as a proliferating, unfinishable representation - for example, Chow (2002) - against the political need to define 'woman'. The work by Moi (1999), Kaplan (2000) and Taylor (2003) on the construction of the female/feminine subject, the sex/gender debate and the relation of this subject to other subjectivities would be useful. Material here would link to

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