The Feminist History Reader  book cover
1st Edition

The Feminist History Reader

Edited By

Sue Morgan

ISBN 9780415318105
Published May 26, 2006 by Routledge
432 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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.


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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).


‘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