Reforming Fictions: Native, African, and Jewish American Women's Literature and Journalism in the Progressive Era

Overview

Recovering a lost chapter of literary and political history, this fresh, multicultural reading of the work of women writers of the Progressive era situates their fiction in the context of their reform journalism and political activism.

As Native, African, and Jewish American women gained access to education, developed women's clubs, and joined political organizations, they wrote to reform the nation, engaging themselves politically and creating a cross-cultural dialogue between ...

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Overview

Recovering a lost chapter of literary and political history, this fresh, multicultural reading of the work of women writers of the Progressive era situates their fiction in the context of their reform journalism and political activism.

As Native, African, and Jewish American women gained access to education, developed women's clubs, and joined political organizations, they wrote to reform the nation, engaging themselves politically and creating a cross-cultural dialogue between journalism and fiction. Early in this century, writers such as Zitkala-Sa, Mourning Dove, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and Anzia Yezierska developed their writing careers through affiliations with reform organizations. They worked for Pan-Indianism, racial uplift, immigrant aid, or social welfare. Carol Batker explores the impact of their journalism and political work on their fiction. She demonstrates points of contact among these women that suggest mutual influence and conversations across racial and ethnic lines — revealing important historical antecedents to contemporary debates about multiculturalism in America.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In the 1910s and 1920s, Batker argues, reform work and the political networks it created were the inspiration and the opportunity for women's journalistic and literary publishing. Following current criticism, she rejects the opposition between aesthetic and political concerns, and looks at periodical journalism as a textured dialogue that spoke to fiction in an intimate and influential exchange. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231118514
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol J. Batker publishes and teaches in Native American, African American, Jewish American, and women's studies.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. "Her Rightful Place in the New Scheme of Things": Native American Women's Journalism in the Dawes Era2. " Wantin' to Wear th' Breeches and Boss th' HullShebang'": Reservations and Romance in Mourning Dove's3. "The Democracy for Which We Have Paid": Jessie Fauset and World War I Controversies in the African-American Press4. "An 'Honest-to-God' American": Patriotism, Foreignness, and Domesticity in Jessie Fauset's Fiction5. "Why Should You Ask for Ease?": Jewish Women's Journalism in the English-Language Press6. "Mingling with Her People in Their Ghetto": Immigrant Aid and the New Woman in Jewish Women's FictionConclusion

Columbia University Press

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