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No More Separate Spheres!: A Next Wave American Studies Reader

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Overview

No More Separate Spheres! challenges the limitations of thinking about American literature and culture within the narrow rubric of “male public” and “female private” spheres from the founders to the present. With provocative essays by an array of cutting-edge critics with diverse viewpoints, this collection examines the ways that the separate spheres binary has malingered unexamined in feminist criticism, American literary studies, and debates on the public sphere. It exemplifies new ways of analyzing gender, breaks through old paradigms, and offers a primer on feminist thinking for the twenty-first century.
Using American literary studies as a way to talk about changing categories of analysis, these essays discuss the work of such major authors as Catharine Sedgwick, Herman Melville, Pauline E. Hopkins, Frederick Douglass, Catharine Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Sarah Orne Jewett, Nathaniel Hawthorne, María Ampara Ruiz de Burton, Ann Petry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Cynthia Kadohata, Chang Rae-Lee, and Samuel Delany. No More Separate Spheres! shows scholars and students different ways that gender can be approached and incorporated into literary interpretations. Feisty and provocative, it provides a forceful analysis of the limititations of any theory of gender that applies only to women, and urges suspicion of any argument that posits “woman” as a universal or uniform category.
By bringing together essays from the influential special issue of American Literature of the same name, a number of classic essays, and several new pieces commissioned for this volume, No More Separate Spheres! will be an ideal teaching tool, providing a key supplementary text in the American literature classroom.

Contributors. José F. Aranda, Lauren Berlant, Cathy N. Davidson, Judith Fetterley, Jessamyn Hatcher, Amy Kaplan, Dana D. Nelson, Christopher Newfield, You-me Park, Marjorie Pryse, Elizabeth Renker, Ryan Schneider, Melissa Solomon, Siobhan Somerville, Gayle Wald , Maurice Wallace

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This groundbreaking collection of essays by a group of extraordinary scholars and critics treats a wide range of key American writers and presents the most important arguments of the last twenty years on gender and sexuality and on class, race, and nationalism in American cultural expression. The book demonstrates clearly how far we have come, what we have learned, and what is at stake today in our reading, in the classroom, and in our lives. It asks, finally, if we will accept the continuation of separate spheres or if we will keep striving to resist them. A major achievement!”—Emory Elliott, University of California, Riverside
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Cathy N. Davidson is Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies and Ruth F. Devarney Professor of English at Duke University.

Jessamyn Hatcher is a faculty member in the General Studies Program at New York University.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 7
Separate Spheres, Female Words, Woman's Place: The Rhetoric of Women's History 29
"My Sister! My Sister!": The Rhetoric of Catharine Sedgwick's Hope Leslie 67
Herman Melville, Wife Beating, and the Written Page 93
Contradictory Impulses: Maria Ampara Ruiz de Burton, Resistance Theory, and the Politics of Chicano/a Studies 121
Sex, Class, and "Category Crisis": Reading Jewett's Transitivity 149
Manifest Domesticity 183
Passing through the Closet in Pauline E. Hopkins's Contending Forces 209
Constructing the Black Masculine: Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and the Sublimits of African American Autobiography 237
Native Daughters in the Promised Land: Gender, Race, and the Question of Separate Spheres 263
Poor Eliza 291
Representative/Democracy: Presidents, Democratic Management, and the Unfinished Business of Male Sentimentalism 325
Fathers, Sons, Sentimentality, and the Color Line: The Not-Quite-Separate Spheres of W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Waldo Emerson 355
"Few of Our Seeds Ever Came Up at All": A Dialogue on Hawthorne, Delany, and the Work of Affect in Visionary Utopias 377
Selected Bibliography 409
Contributors 423
Index 427
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