Envisioning Disease, Gender, and War: Women's Narratives of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Overview

After surviving a severe case of influenza in 1918, Katherine Anne Porter observed, 'It simply divided my life, cut across it.' The 1918 influenza pandemic spanned the volatile early twentieth century, a time period that included the end of World War I and the granting of female suffrage in the Western world. Focusing on major novels and essays by Willa Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, and Virginia Woolf, this work examines how narratives by women writers engage the 1918 influenza pandemic, emphasizing vision as ...

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Overview

After surviving a severe case of influenza in 1918, Katherine Anne Porter observed, 'It simply divided my life, cut across it.' The 1918 influenza pandemic spanned the volatile early twentieth century, a time period that included the end of World War I and the granting of female suffrage in the Western world. Focusing on major novels and essays by Willa Cather, Katherine Anne Porter, and Virginia Woolf, this work examines how narratives by women writers engage the 1918 influenza pandemic, emphasizing vision as compensation for losses of both war and disease. Drawing on World War I posters, poetry, songs, drawings, and photographs, the argument offers a persuasive framework for connecting war, disease, and gender to the shock of the modern in twentieth-century culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312234492
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Series: Early Modern Cultural Studies Series
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Fisher is an associate professor of English at Canisius College, where she also serves as Director of the Women's Studies Program. Her teaching and writing concentrate on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture, with an emphasis on women writers and medical humanities.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Remembering War, Forgetting Influenza
Women's Time and Influenza
Reading Mass Media, Reading Illness
Contagion in the Modern City
The Heart and Its Discontents: Sentimental Literary Conventions and Influenza Narratives
The Restorative Powers of Seeing and Connecting
Recovering the Future
Epidemics, Gender, and Narrative at the Millennium

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