Feminisms and Early Modern Texts

Feminisms and Early Modern Texts

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This collection demonstrates the diversity of contemporary feminist scholarship in early modern studies. With an introduction by Jean E. Howard, and essays by Rackin's former students Wendy Wall, Kim F. Hall, Lisa A. Freeman, Will Fisher, Peter Parolin, Sarah Werner, Julie Crawford, Rebecca Ann Bach, and Gwynne Kennedy, and Rackin's long-time colleague, Barbara Hodgdon, the volume covers a range of subjects of interest to early modern scholars and their students. Essays on domesticity, sexuality, masculinity, women writers, pedagogy, and performance push issues central to Rackin's scholarship in significant new directions. The introduction emphasizes Rackin's commitment to feminism in both her scholarship and academic life, as it surveys her important contributions to Shakespeare studies. Several essays consider domesticity as a source of women's empowerment. Peter Parolin compares The Taming of the Shrew, where Kate's qtamingq entails her removal from food production, and The Knight of the Burning Pestle, where Nell gains authority from it. Wendy Wall draws connections between early modern women's writing practices and the housewife's task of carving. Kim F. Hall examines English women's involvement in the production and consumption of sugar and in the institutionalization of African slavery. Contrasting the views of Othello's passion held by early modern and eighteenth-century critics, Rebecca Ann Bach traces both the emergence of heterosexual gender norms that situate men as active desiring subjects and women as passive objects and the centrality of race in their formulation. Will Fisher engages historical constructions of sexuality and gender by considering Celia and Rosalind in As You Like It as a homoerotic couple who refigure material practices associated with heterosexual marriage. Lisa A. Freeman and Julie Crawford focus on women writers. Freeman analyzes the paradoxical position of the public female intellectual, thought to possess a masculine mind but weak feminine body, through the strategies the bluestocking Elizabeth Carter adopts to resist and refigure this position. Crawford shows how Mary Wroth connects the sonnet with a lady's closet, as publicly private spaces, to address both a specific and a larger audience in her romance. Focusing on revenge tragedies, Gwynne Kennedy identifies strategies that discredit or minimize the legitimacy of the female character's revenge. Sarah Werner combines feminism, pedagogy, and editorial theory to show how Cordelia can introduce students to the multitext King Lear, the politics of editing, and the construction of gender. Barbara Hodgdon argues for a more expansive and interactive understanding of text, performance, and theory. Rebecca Ann Bach is Professor of English at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Gwynne Kennedy is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Actors cut Othello for performance, and critics reinterpreted it so that Desdemona might conform to emerging gender ideals for women, 1 but Othelloa#39;s part remained intact. I will suggest in this essay that the play Othello had to remainanbsp;...

Title:Feminisms and Early Modern Texts
Author:Rebecca Ann Bach, Gwynne Kennedy, Phyllis Rackin
Publisher:Susquehanna University Press - 2010


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