Around 1981: Academic Feminist Literary Theory

1st Edition

Jane Gallop

Routledge
Published March 21, 2014
Reference
ISBN 9780415752312 - CAT# Y162437
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Women, Feminism and Literature

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Summary

Jane Gallop’s book offers a clear-eyed and comprehensive history of feminist literary criticism. Why, she asks, have we so quickly buried 1970s feminist criticism? What lies buried there? Why do 1990s academic feminists accuse other academic feminists of being ‘academic’?

Gallop takes the novel approach of structuring her inquiry around anthologies of feminist criticism: twelve important texts that have had a wide impact on more than a decade of scholarship. In reading an anthology as a whole, she typically identifies a central, hegemonic voice (usually that of the editor/s) which would organise all the voices into a unity, and then explores the resistance within that volume to such a unity. Weight is placed behind these internal differences as a wedge against the centrist drive.

Around 1981 addresses briefly ‘french feminism’ and psychoanalytic feminism before focusing on its principal subject: the mainstream of feminist literary criticism, before and after its general acceptance as part of the changing institution of literary studies. This brilliantly illuminates the dilemma of the feminist critic, divided by her allegiance to both feminism and literary studies.

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