Lecture 20 - The Classical Feminist Tradition
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In this lecture on feminist criticism, Professor Paul Fry uses Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own as a lens to and commentary on the flourishing of feminist criticism in the twentieth century. The structure and rhetoric of A Room of One's Own is extensively analyzed, as are its core considerations of female novelists such as Austen, Eliot, and the Brontës. The works of major feminist critics, such as Ann Douglas, Mary Ellman, Kate Millett, Elaine Showalter, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, are mentioned. The logocentric approach to gender theory, specifically the task of defining female language as something different and separate from male language, is considered alongside Woolf's own endorsement of literary and intellectual androgyny.
Woolf, Virginia. "Austen-Brontë-Eliot" and "The Androgynous Vision." In The Critical Tradition, pp. 602-10
Kolodny, Annette. "Dancing through the Minefield." In The Critical Tradition, pp. 1550-62
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