Critical Condition, Feminism at the Turn of the Century by Susan Gubar

By Susan Gubar

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Extra info for Critical Condition, Feminism at the Turn of the Century (Gender and Culture)

Sample text

Perhaps this is why so many people have begun to sabotage even the most apparently libertarian models we have previously used to fathom the impact of race on gender, of gender on race. Such saboteurs wonder: Has multiculturalism become as inoperative a racial paradigm as the earlier model of integration? At least partly inspired by their feminism, many critical as well as imaginative writers, performance artists, and painters seek to move us beyond integrationists’ advocacy of assimilation and multiculturalists’ of identity politics to a more nuanced understanding of race that might, in turn, lead to the post-racist society many people wish to inhabit.

As the black blood of movie stars spatters on sheets exhibited on the stage, as the black letters of Clara spill out on the sheets of her pages, Kennedy insists on the persistent tensions between maternal procreativity and aesthetic creativity. Lest we assume that menstruation, pregnancy, and miscarriage are a cross-racial problem for all women, however, the audience is constantly reminded that the actresses’ obsession reflects the personal suffering Clara has projected onto them, a projection that robs Bette Davis, Jean Peters, and Shelley Winters of Otherness.

Though we need accounts of its development so as to preserve our intellectual past, K. K. Ruthven’s Feminist Literary Studies (), Toril Moi’s Sexual/Textual Politics (), Janet Todd’s Feminist Literary History (), and Jane Gallop’s Around  () appear either oddly skewed or weirdly hostile to the subject they address. So Sandra Gilbert and I thought when we broached this topic in our collaborative talk at a  “Feminist Criticism Revisited” panel we organized for the Modern Language Association convention, and so I still think today.

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