What is FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM? What does FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM mean?



feminist literary criticism is literary criticism informed by feminist theory or more broadly by the politics of feminism it uses feminist principles and ideology to critique the language of literature this school of thought seeks to analyze and describe the ways in which literature portrays the narrative of male domination by exploring the economic social political and psychological forces embedded within literature it's 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 general feminist literary criticism before the 1970s in the first and second waves of feminism was concerned with women's authorship and the representation of women's condition within literature including the depiction of fictional female characters in addition feminist criticism was concerned with the exclusion of women from the literary canon lois tyson suggests this is because the views of women authors are often not considered to be universal ones since the development of more complex conceptions of gender and subjectivity and third wave feminism feminist literary criticism has taken a variety of new routes namely in the tradition of the Frankfurt schools critical theory 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 it has been closely associated with the birth and growth of queer studies the more traditionally central feminist concern with the representation and politics of women's lives has continued to play an active role in criticism more specific modern feminist criticism deals with those issues related to the perceived intentional and unintentional patriarchal programming within key aspects of society including education politics and the workforce Lisa Tuttle has defied feminist theory as asking new questions of old texts she cites the goals of feminist criticism as one to develop and uncover a female tradition of writing – to interpret symbolism of women's writing so that it will not be lost or ignored by the male point of view three to rediscover old texts four to analyze women writers and their writings from a female perspective five to resist sexism in literature and six to increase awareness of the sexual politics of language and style feminist scholarship has developed a multitude of ways to unpack literature in order to understand its essence scholars under the camp known as feminine critique saw to divorce literary analysis away from abstract diction based arguments and instead tailored their criticism to more grounded pieces of literature plot characters etc and recognize the perceived implicit misogyny of the structure of the story itself other schools of thought such as guy no criticism uses a historicist approach to literature by exposing exemplary female scholarship in literature and the ways in which their relation to gender structure relied in their portrayal of both fiction and reality in their text more contemporary scholars attempt to understand the intersecting points of femininity and complicate our common assumptions about gender politics by accessing different categories of identity race class sexual orientation etc the ultimate goal of any of these tools is to uncover and expose patriarchal underlying tensions within novels and interrogate the ways in which our basic literary assumptions about such novels are contingent on female subordination in this way the accessibility of literature broadens to a far more inclusive and holistic population moreover works that historically receive little or no attention given the historical constraints around female authorship and some cultures are able to be heard in their original form and unabridged this makes a broader collection of literature for all readers insofar as all great works of literature are given exposure without bias towards and gender influence system women have also begun to employ and see patriarchal themes to protest the historical censorship of literature written by women the rise of decadent feminist literature in the 1990s was meant to directly challenge the sexual politics of the patriarchy by employing a wide range of female sexual exploration and lesbian and queer identities by those like Rita Phil ski and Judith Bennett women were able attract more attention about feminist topics in literature modern feminist literary criticism finds its roots in the 1960s second wave feminist movements beginning with the interrogation of male centric literature that portrayed women in a demeaning and oppressed model theorists such as Mary Ellen Kate Millett and Germaine Greer challenged past imaginations of the feminine within literary scholarship Elaine Showalter became a leading critic in the gyno critical method with her work of literature of their own in 1977 by this time scholars were not only interested in simply demarcating narratives of oppression but also creating a literary space for past present and future female literary scholars to substantiate their experience in a genuine way that appreciates the aesthetic form of their works French scholars such as Julia Kristeva hailing success and Lucy Ruggeri introduced psychoanalytic discourses into their work by way of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan is a way to truly get to the root of feminine anxieties within text to manifest broader societal truths about the place of women current feminist scholars in the field of literature include Hortense pillars Susan goober Nancy Armstrong and the kolodny and Irene Taylor who all come from a variety of backgrounds who use their own nuanced and subjective experiences doing form their understanding of feminist literature currently several university scholars all employ the usage of literary feminism when critiquing texts the mainstreaming of this school has given academia an extremely useful tool in raising questions over the gender relationships within text black literary feminist scholars began to emerge in the post-civil rights era of the United States as a response to the masculine centric narratives of black empowerment's began to gain momentum over female voices although not a critical text the black woman an anthology edited by Kaede 1970 is seen as essential to the rise of black literary criticism and theory it's compilation of poems short stories and essays gave rise to new institutionally support in forms of black literary scholarship the literary scholarship also included began with the perception of black female writers being under received relative to their talent the Combahee River collective released what is called one of the most famous pieces in black literary scholarship known as a black feminist statement 1977 which sought to prove that literary feminism was an important component to black female liberation hazel carby barbara christian bell hooks Nellie McKay Valerie Smith Hortense Spillers Eleanor trailer Cheryl wall and Sheryl Ann Williams all contributed heavily to the black feminist scholarship during the 1980s during that same time Deborah E McDowell published New Directions for black feminist criticism which called for a more theoretical school of criticism versus the current writings which she deemed overly practical as time moves forward theory began to disperse an ideology many deciding to shift towards the nuanced psychological factors of the black experience and further away from broad sweeping generalizations others began to connect their works to the politics of lesbianism some decided to analyze the black experience through their relationship to the Western world regardless these scholars continue to employ a variety of methods to explore the identity of black feminism in literature less than ref greater than obscure publishing service selection page retrieve the 29th of January 2016

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