Winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women’s Collaborative Book Prize 2017
Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies is a volume of essays by leading scholars in the field of early modern studies on the history, present state, and future possibilities of feminist criticism and theory. It responds to current anxieties that feminist criticism is in a state of decline by attending to debates and differences that have emerged in light of ongoing scholarly discussions of race, affect, sexuality, and transnationalism-work that compels us continually to reassess our definitions of ’women’ and gender. Rethinking Feminism demonstrates how studies of early modern literature, history, and culture can contribute to a reimagination of feminist aims, methods, and objects of study at this historical juncture.
While the scholars contributing to Rethinking Feminism have very different interests and methods, they are united in their conviction that early modern studies must be in dialogue with, and indeed contribute to, larger theoretical and political debates about gender, race, and sexuality, and to the relationship between these areas. To this end, the essays not only analyze literary texts and cultural practices to shed light on early modern ideology and politics, but also address metacritical questions of methodology and theory. Taken together, they show how a consciousness of the complexity of the past allows us to rethink the genealogies and historical stakes of current scholarly norms and debates.
About the Author
Ania Loomba is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Melissa E. Sanchez is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Why feminism? Why now?, Ania Loomba and Melissa E. Sanchez. Part I Histories: Feminism and the Burdens of History, Ania Loomba and Melissa E. Sanchez; Family Quarrels: Feminist Criticism, Queer Studies, and Shakespeare in the 21st Century, Coppélia Kahn; Tempestuous Transitions and Double Vision: from Early to Late Modern Gendered Performances in Higher Education, Diana Henderson. Part II Methods: ‘First as tragedy, then as…’: Gender, Genre, History, and Romeo and Juliet, Crystal Bartolovich; Shakespeare's Laundry: Feminist Futures in the archive, Natasha Korda; Constructions of Race and Gender in the Two Texts of Othello, Leah Marcus. Part III Bodies: ‘Travelling bodyes’: Native Women of the Northeast and Northwest Passage Ventures and English Discourses of Empire, Bernadette Andrea; Moral Constitution: Elizabeth Carey’s Tragedy of Mariam and the Color of Blood, Kimberly Anne Coles; Gertrude/Ophelia: Feminist Intermediality, Ekphrasis, and Tenderness in Hamlet, Sujata Iyengar. Part IV Agency: Samson’s Gospel of Sex: Failed Universals in Milton and Freud, Richard Halpern; Chasing Chastity: the Case of Desdemona, Will Stockton; Whose Body?, Kathryn Schwarz. Afterword: Early Modern (Feminist) Methods, Valerie Traub.