These twenty autobiographical essays by eminent feminist literary critics explore the process by which women scholars became feminist scholars, articulating the connections between the personal and political in their lives and work. They describe the experiences that radicalised women within academia and without, as students, professors, scholars, political activists, women. From these diverse histories a collective history emerges of the development of feminism as an intellectual and social movement, as a heuristic tool, as the redefinition of knowledge and power.
This book presents a history of the field through the eyes of those who have created it. Offering a spectrum of experiences and critical positions that engage with current debates in feminism, it will be valuable to teachers and students of feminist theory, women’s studies, and the history of the women’s movement. It will interest female writers and scholars in all disciplines and anyone who cares about feminism and its future.
Introduction 1. Looking At History Gayle Greene and Coppélia Kahn Part 1: Decades 2. Decades Nancy K. Miller 3. History/My History Gloria T. Hull 4. Imaginary Gardens with Real Frogs in Them: Feminist Euphora and the Franco-American Divide, 1976-88 Ann Rosalind Jones 5. Radical Optimism, Maternal Materialism and Teaching Literature Judith Kegan Gardiner Part 2: Reading/Writing Against the Grain 6. Reader, I Married Me: A Polygynous Memoir Rachel Blau DuPlessis 7. In Academia, and Out: The Experience of a Lesbian Feminist Literary Critic Bonnie Zimmerman 8. "Except Thou Ravish Me": Penetrations into the Life of the (Feminine) Mind Molly Hite 9. The Long Goodbye: Against the Personal Testimony or, an Infant Grifter Grows Up Linda S. Kauffman 10. Feminism, the Roaring Girls and Me Margo Hendricks Part 3: Legacies 11. Mother Coppélia Kahn 12. Getting Gendered Carolyn Porter 13. Loss and Recovery: Homes Away from Home Carol Thomas Neely 14. Being the Subject and the Object: Reading African-American Women’s Novels Barbara Christian 15. Generational Differences: Reliving Mother-Daughter Conflicts Madelon Sprengnether Part 4: Connections and Contradictions 16. Stormy Weather: A Memoir of the Second Wave Leslie W. Rabine 17. On Having a Personal Voice Elizabeth Ermarth 18. Asians in Anglo-American Feminism: Reciprocity and Resistance Shirley Geok-lin Lim 19. Growing Up Theoretical: Across the Divide Jerry Aline Flieger. Afterword Carolyn Heilbrun