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This critical reader, specifically designed to accompany the anthology, contains twelve original essays - ten newly-written - on a wide range of topics, together with an introductory overview by the editor.
Introduction: A Conversation on Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing: Karen Kilcup.
"Not in the Least American": Nineteenth-Century Literary Regionalism as UnAmerican Literature: Judith Fetterley (University at Albany, SUNY).
Living With Difference: Nineteenth-Century Southern Women Writers: Nancy A. Walker (Vanderbilt University).
Western Biodiversity: Rereading Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing: Melody Graulich (University of New Hampshire).
"A Tolerance For Contradictions":The Short Stories of Maria Cristina Mena: Tiffany Ana López (University of California, Riverside).
Early Native American Women Authors: Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, Sarah Winnemucca, S. Alice Callahan, E. Pauline Johnson, and Zitkala-a: A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff (University of Illinois, Chicago).
Nature, Nurture, and Nationalism: "A Faded Leaf of History": Jean Pfaelzer (University of Delaware).
Crippled Girls and Lame Old Women: Sentimental Spectacles of Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing: Rosemarie Garland Thomson (Howard University).
Fracturing Gender: Women's Economic Independence: Joyce Warren (Queens College, CUNY).
"To Labor. . . And Fight on the Side of God":Spirit, Class, and Nineteenth-Century African-American Women's Literature: Barbara McCaskill (University of Georgia).
"Essays of Invention":Transformations of Advice in Nineteenth-Century American Women's Writing: Karen L. Kilcup (University of North Carolina, Greensboro).
Inventing a Feminist Discourse: Rhetoric and Resistance in Margaret Fuller's Women In The Nineteenth Century: Annette Kolodny (University of Arizonia).
Nineteenth-Century American Women Poets Revisited: Cheryl Walker (Scripps College).