Separate Spheres No More: Gender Convergence in American Literature, 1830-1930

Overview

Although they wrote in the same historical milieu as their male counterparts, women writers of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries have generally been "ghettoized" by critics into a separate canonical sphere. These original essays argue in favor of reconciling male and female writers, both historically and in the context of classroom teaching.
 
While some of the essays pair up female and male authors who write in a similar style or with ...

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Separate Spheres No More: Gender Convergence in American Literature, 1830-1930

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Overview

Although they wrote in the same historical milieu as their male counterparts, women writers of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries have generally been "ghettoized" by critics into a separate canonical sphere. These original essays argue in favor of reconciling male and female writers, both historically and in the context of classroom teaching.
 
While some of the essays pair up female and male authors who write in a similar style or with similar concerns, others address social issues shared by both men and women, including class tensions, economic problems, and the Civil War experience. Rather than privileging particular genres or certain well-known writers, the contributors examine writings ranging from novels and poetry to autobiography, utopian fiction, and essays. And they consider familiar figures like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, and Ralph Waldo Emerson alongside such lesser-known writers as Melusina Fay Peirce, Susie King Taylor, and Mary Gove Nichols.
 
Each essay revises the binary notions that have been ascribed to males and females, such as public and private, rational and intuitive, political and domestic, violent and passive. Although they do not deny the existence of separate spheres, the contributors show the boundary between them to be much more blurred than has been assumed until now.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Separate Spheres No More makes a significant contribution to recent revisionist work by feminist scholars who are questioning the idea of 'separate spheres' and 'the cult of true womanhood.' Like earlier feminist literary criticism, this collection represents a logical outgrowth of new cultural-historical scholarship, as it reveals 19th- and early 20th-century women exercising public power and effecting social change." —Leland S Person, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

"This collection enters vigorously into ongoing conversations about the shape and future of the American literary canon. Offering a compelling view of many neglected writers and new ways to read familiar ones, the collection will appeal to a wide readership. Innovative and interesting."
—Karen L. Kilcup, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

“Monika Elbert’s essay collection offers a powerful contribution to the ongoing reexamination of separate spheres in nineteenth- and earlytwentieth century American and in American literary criticism.” —South Atlantic Review

Booknews
These essays argue for bringing women writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries into the mainstream of literary history and classroom teaching. Literary scholars examine women authors in a variety of contexts: by pairing them with male authors who shared a similar style and by evaluating social contexts shared by both men and women and their writings, such as the Civil War, and class tensions. A variety of genres, including poetry, autobiography, and utopian fiction, are covered. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher

"Separate Spheres No More makes a significant contribution to recent revisionist work by feminist scholars who are questioning the idea of 'separate spheres' and 'the cult of true womanhood.' Like earlier feminist literary criticism, this collection represents a logical outgrowth of new cultural-historical scholarship, as it reveals 19th- and early 20th-century women exercising public power and effecting social change."—Leland S Person, The University of Alabama at Birmingham

"This collection enters vigorously into ongoing conversations about the shape and future of the American literary canon. Offering a compelling view of many neglected writers and new ways to read familiar ones, the collection will appeal to a wide readership. Innovative and interesting."
—Karen L. Kilcup, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

“Monika Elbert’s essay collection offers a powerful contribution to the ongoing reexamination of separate spheres in nineteenth- and earlytwentieth century American and in American literary criticism.” —South Atlantic Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817357795
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2013
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Monika M. Elbert is Associate Professor of English at Montclair State University, New Jersey.

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