Feminist literary criticism

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Feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory, or by the politics of feminism more broadly. Its history has been broad and varied, from classic works of nineteenth-century women authors such as George Eliot and Margaret Fuller to cutting-edge theoretical work in women's studies and gender studies by "third-wave" authors. In the most general and simple terms, feminist literary criticism before the 1970s -- in the first and second waves of feminism -- was concerned with the politics of women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature. Since the arrival of more complex conceptions of gender and subjectivity and third-wave feminism, feminist literary criticism has taken a variety of new routes. It has considered gender in the terms of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, as part of the deconstruction of existing relations of power, and as a concrete political investment.[1] It has been closely associated with the birth and growth of queer studies. And the more traditionally central feminist concern with the representation and politics of women's lives has continued to play an active role in criticism.

Lisa Tuttle has defined feminist theory as asking "new questions of old texts." She cites the goals of feminist criticism as: (1) To develop and uncover a female tradition of writing, (2) to interpret symbolism of women's writing so that it will not be lost or ignored by the male point of view, (3) to rediscover old texts, (4) to analyze women writers and their writings from a female perspective, (5) to resist sexism in literature, and (6) to increase awareness of the sexual politics of language and style.[2]

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[edit] Feminist literary critics

Prominent feminist literary critics include Isobel Armstrong, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Annette Kolodny, and Anne K. Mellor.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. ^ Barry, Peter, 'Feminist Literary Criticism' in Beginning theory (Manchester University Press: 2002), ISBN 0719062683
  2. ^ Tuttle, Lisa: Encyclopedia of feminism. Harlow: Longman 1986, p. 184

[edit] Further reading