This global, multicultural anthology shows how women from some thirty countries, across twenty-six centuries, have found ways to resist oppression and gain power over their lives. Organized around themes of concern to contemporary readers, Women Imagine Change explores: relationships between women's sexuality and spirituality; women's interlinked struggles to control their labor and education; their work reshaping representations of gender; and their varied translations of knowledge into power. Extensive introductions combine a broad theoretical perspective on gender and resistance with vivid biographical context.
Not only do the writings show women's resistance from an historical perspective; they also offer crucial insight into questions women are posing today about the relationships between their own power, the power of the various groups to which they belong, and the larger systems of power they confront in the world around them.
"A formidable volume that dares to take on the whole world and covers more than 2000 years of history." -- National Women's Studies Journal
"One has difficulty imagining anyone not being impressed by this prodigious volume. It is a perfect book for a women's studies class, particularly because of its unusualy broad range, and a book many undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty will wish to read from cover to cover." -- Choice
"The editors have collected a remarkable range of writings from more than 100 women from 40 countries, spanning almost 2,600 years. General readers as well as scholars will be absorbed by the poems, journal entries, letters between friends, speeches, fictional accounts, and personal observations...We leave these pages with the inspiration that comes from knowing that women have resisted oppression for over two millenia. Now we can plot our future--by borrowing from our past." -- Ms. Magazine
"[A]n impressive collection of women's writings through the ages...This will make an excellent reader for survey classes on world history as well as women's history and studies. Highly recommended for high school and academic libraries." -- Library Journal
"This book is accessible, broad in scope, and at once clear in its editorial rationale. The authors provide a feminist reader; this work is not simply a collection of stories about women. It is a collection that shows how throughout history women's resources have been exploited by the patriarchy, exercising power over their lives." -- Journal of Popular Culture
"Women Imagine Change is a seminal contribution to the literature on women and social change. DeLamotte, Meeker, and O'Barr demonstrate great sensitivity, sophistication, and political savvy in their selection of narratives, organization of the volume, and commentaries on the book's central themes. Grounded in women's lived experience, which it neither trivializes or romanticizes, Women Imagine Change is a great monument to women's resistance." -- Amrita Basu, Amherst College
"This is an incredibly ambitious collection of women's aspirations for social change, across ages, lands, and cultures. The collection represents the very latest and most probing apporoaches to gender and history, in a thoroughly accessible way, through the clear and diverse voices of women across world history." -- Ellen DuBois, co-editor of Unequal Sisters
"Bridging centuries, continents and cultures, this volume is a wonderful testament to women's resistance to the limitations of gendered worlds. It belongs in every library and on every woman's bookshelf." -- Susan McGee Bailey, Executive Director, The Wellesley Centers for Women
"They're all here--Sappho, Christine de Pizan, Fatima Mernissi, Alexander Kollentai. But they are only the tip of this astounding feminist historical iceberg. Here in one volume, each speaking with first person immediacy and intimacy, are theorizing activist women from dozens of cultures, across two millenia. Japanese, Senegalese, Bengali, English, African American, Russian women analyzing and strategizing. Here are women you've read about but need to re-read, women who you've meant to read and then all the women thinkers who you haven't even realized--till now--that you must read." -- Cynthia Enloe, author of Does Khaki Still Become You?