Feminist Modernism, Poetics, and the New Economy
Mina Loy, Lola Ridge, and Marianne Moore
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In Feminist Modernism, Poetics, and the New Economy, Linda A. Kinnahan argues that the work of Mina Loy, Lola Ridge, and Marianne Moore engages with the variations in feminist economic thought and discourse that developed in American culture from the 1890s through the 1920s. Kinnahan positions her study in relationship to the gendered field of economic discourse and cultural change that attended corporate consumer capitalism's astonishing ascendance before the collapse of the Great Depression. Focusing primarily on poetry written and published early in the poets' careers, Kinnahan considers each of the writers alongside a particular strand of the era's feminist economic thought: Mina Loy and debates relating to Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, and other contemporary feminists; Lola Ridge and concepts of labor and the working woman; and Marianne Moore and the systems of exchange, value, labor, and possession that underlie tensions between modern consumption and human need. Kinnahan concludes with a discussion of the directions taken by these poets during and, in Loy’s case, just after the Great Depression, establishing that women and their ideas contributed significantly to an economic rethinking of gender and to a gendered rethinking of modern economics.
Linda A. Kinnahan is Professor of English & Hillman Distinguished Chair at Duquesne University, USA.