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Fictions of Female Education in the Nineteenth Century
     

Fictions of Female Education in the Nineteenth Century

by Jaime Osterman Alves
 

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Seeking to understand how literary texts both shaped and reflected the century's debates over adolescent female education, this book examines fictional works and historical documents featuring descriptions of girls' formal educational experiences between the 1810s and the 1890s. Alves argues that the emergence of schoolgirl culture in nineteenth-century America

Overview

Seeking to understand how literary texts both shaped and reflected the century's debates over adolescent female education, this book examines fictional works and historical documents featuring descriptions of girls' formal educational experiences between the 1810s and the 1890s. Alves argues that the emergence of schoolgirl culture in nineteenth-century America presented significant challenges to subsequent constructions of normative femininity. The trope of the adolescent schoolgirl was a carrier of shifting cultural anxieties about how formal education would disrupt the customary maid-wife-mother cycle and turn young females off to prevailing gender roles. By tracing the figure of the schoolgirl at crossroads between educational and other institutions - in texts written by and about girls from a variety of racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds - this book transcends the limitations of "separate spheres" inquiry and enriches our understanding of how girls negotiated complex gender roles in the nineteenth century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gives a range of valuable insights into the pedagogical practices used to teach women during the nineteenth century and about the psychosocial effects of these practices. This book also shows the importance of using fictionalised accounts as part of a broader analysis of the socio-historical context. The vignettes it describes and the questions it poses (particularly with respect to minority ethnic education) will be of use in teaching and research and are likely to inspire further inquiry using these methods." - Sarah Evans, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415996761
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/11/2009
Series:
Studies in American Popular History and Culture Series
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
0.60(w) x 0.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Jaime Osterman Alves is Assistant Professor of Literature in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Bard College.

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