The Feminist History Reader: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Feminist History Reader

1st Edition

Edited by Sue Morgan


432 pages

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Paperback: 9780415318105
pub: 2006-04-21
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The Feminist History Reader gathers together key articles, from some of the very best writers in the field, that have shaped the dynamic historiography of the past thirty years, and introduces students to the major shifts and turning points in this dialogue.

The Reader is divided into four sections:

  • early feminist historians' writings following the move from reclaiming women's past through to the development of gender history
  • the interaction of feminist history with ‘the linguistic turn’ and the challenges made by post-structuralism and the responses it provoked
  • the work of lesbian historians and queer theorists in their challenge of the heterosexism of feminist history writing
  • the work of black feminists and postcolonial critics/Third World scholars and how they have laid bare the ethnocentric and imperialist tendencies of feminist theory.

Each reading has a comprehensive and clearly structured introduction with a guide to further reading, this wide-ranging guide to developments in feminist history is essential reading for all students of history.


‘Advanced readers are likely to find much of interest in the Feminist History Reader … Morgan’s was a difficult editorial task and the result is a stylish set of readings which will enable important issues about feminist historical theorizing to be addressed and debated in the classroom, particularly given that Morgan’s editorial viewpoint on the field is discussed in such an interesting and in-depth way.’Feminist Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1: Bringing the Female Subject into View 1. The Trouble with Patriarchy Sheila Rowbotham, Sally Alexander and Barbara Taylor 2. Feminism and History Judith M. Bennett 3. Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women’s History Amanda Vickery 4. Politics and Culture in Women’s History: A Symposium Ellen Dubois, Mari Jo Buhle, Temma Kaplan, Gerda Lerner and Carroll Smith-Rosenberg 5. Women’s History and Gender History: Aspects of an International Debate Gisela Bock 6. History and the Challenge of Gender History Penelope J. Corfield, June Purvis and Amanda Weatherill Part 2: Deconstructing the Female Subject: Feminist History and ‘The Linguistic Turn’ 7. Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis Joan W. Scott 8. Does Sex have a History? Denise Riley 9. Gender History/Women’s History: Is Feminist Scholarship Losing its Critical Edge? Sonya Rose, Kathleen Canning, Anna Clark and Mariana Valverde 10. Gender as a Postmodern Category of Paralysis Joan Hoff, Susan Kingsley Kent and Caroline Ramazanoglu 11. Postmodern Blackness bell hooks 12. Contingent Foundations: Feminism and the Question of "Postmodernism" Judith Butler Part 3: Searching for the Subject: Lesbian History 13. Who Hid Lesbian History? Lillian Faderman 14. Does it Matter if They did It? Sheila Jeffreys 15. Lesbian History: All Theory and No Facts or All Facts and No Theory? Martha Vicinus 16. Queer: Theorizing Politics and History Donna Penn 17. "Lesbian-Like" and the Social History of Lesbianisms Judith M. Bennett 18. Toward a Global History of Same-Sex Sexuality Leila J. Rupp Part 4: Centres of Difference: Decolonising Subjects: Rethinking Boundaries 19. Gender & Race: The Ampersand Problem in Feminist Thought Elizabeth V. Spelman 20. Challenging Imperial Feminism Valerie Amos and Pratibha Parmar 21. An Open Letter to Mary Daly Audre Lorde 22. "What has Happened Here": The Politics of Difference in Women’s History and Feminist Politics Elsa Barkley Brown 23. Dead Women Tell no Tales: Issues of Female Subjectivity, Subaltern Agency and Tradition in Colonial and Postcolonial Writings on Widow Immolation in India Ania Loomba 24. Gender and Nation Mrinalini Sinha 25. "Introduction" to Civilising Subjects Catherine Hall 26. Rethinking Boundaries: Feminism and (Inter)Nationalism in Early-Twentieth-Century India Sanjam Ahluwalia and Antoinette Burton 27. Actions Louder than Words: The Historical Task of Defining Feminist Consciousness in Colonial West Africa Cheryl Johnson-Odim 28. "Under Western Eyes" Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles Chandra Talpade Mohanty Afterword 29. Feminism’s History Joan W. Scott Guide to Further Reading.

About the Editor

Sue Morgan is Principal Lecturer in History and Head of the School of Cultural Studies at the University of Chichester. She is the author of A Passion for Purity: Ellice Hopkins and the politics of gender in the late-Victorian church (1999), co-editor of Masculinity and Spirituality in Victorian Culture (2000) and editor of Women, Religion and Feminism in Britain, 1750--1900 (2002).

About the Series

Routledge Readers in History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies