First published in 1990, this collection of essays in literary criticism, feminist theory and race relations was named one of the top twenty-five books of 1988 by the Voice Literary Supplement. The title covers such subjects as black literature; the reconstruction of culture, changing arts, letters and sciences to include the topics of women and gender; and, the nature of family and the changing roles of women within society. As such, Catharine Stimpson employs a transdisciplinary approach, to encourage greater understanding of the differences among women, and thus socially-constructed differences in general. Where the Meanings Are tells of some of the arguments within feminism during the re-designing and designing of cultural spaces, as post-modernism began to change the boundaries of race, class, and gender. It will therefore be of great value to students and general readers with an interest in the relationship between gender and culture, sex and gender difference, feminist theory and literature.
"Few critics have been more inventive than Stimpson. She marshals her thoughts coolly, with erudition and poise; underneath is anger at the oppression she documents and a will to remake the culture that feeds on these injustices." – Voice Literary Supplement
"A distinct personal response colors these probing inquiries into what and how and why women write, the meaning of their lives and work, the pitfalls of their struggles." – New York Times Book Review
"Catharine Stimpson’s essays in literary criticism, feminist theory, race relations are sparkling, erudite, witty and always challenging – a joy to read." – Gerda Lerner
"Lively and lucid – often, indeed, electrically witty – these essays will be of compelling interest to a wide range of readers inside and outside the academy." – Sandra M. Gilbert
"I learned more from 17 years’ worth of Stimpson’s essays than from living these last 17 years in the middle of the women’s movement. This volume is feminist analysis at its distilled, brilliant best" – Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Black Culture/White Teacher (1970) 2. "They Neighbor’s Wife, Thy Neighbor’s Servants": Women’s Liberation and Black Civil Rights (1971) 3. What Matter Mind: A Theory about the Practice of Women’s Studies (1973) 4. The Adrogynane and the Homosexual (1974) 5. On Work (1977) 6. Tillie Olsen: Witness as Servant (1977) 7. Shakespeare and the Soil of Rape (1980) 8. Ad/d Feminam: Women, Literature and Society (1980) 9. Zero Degree Deviancy: The Lesbian Novel in English (1981) 10. The Company of Children (1982) 11. Feminism and Feminist Criticism (1983) 12. The Female Sociograph: The Theater of Virginia Woolf’s Letters (1984) 13. Adrienne Rich and Lesbian/Feminist Poetry (1985) 14. Female Insubordination and the Text (1986) 15. A Welcome Treaty: The Humanities in Everyday Life (1986) 16. Nancy Regan Wears a Hat: Feminism and its Cultural Consensus (1987); Notes; Index
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