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Feminist Literary Criticism
This research guide will assist you in finding sources for feminist literary criticism. Briefly, feminist criticism aims to reinterpret literature from a female point of view. This is accomplished in several ways. Some feminist critics seek to interpret the works of male authors, with particular attention to women characters, in order to explore the moral, political and social restrictions women traditionally faced. Other feminist critics choose to analyze the works of women authors that have been previously overlooked by male critics.
To find books that contain critical feminist essays on your topic search the Library Catalog. Use the Subject keyword file. Subject headings to search are : feminist literary criticism, feminist criticism, feminism and literature, women authors, women in literature, English literature - women authors - history and criticism, American literature - women authors - history and criticism, women - psychology, women, sex role in literature, silence in literature, identity in literature and androgyny in literature.
The MLA bibliography (Modern Langauge Association), and to a lesser extent, such electronic databases as the Humanities Index also contain current references to feminist criticism. Once you have the citations (i.e., volume & issue #, year, etc.), and verify that the library owns the issues that you need, you must go to the Periodicals Desk on the fourth floor to retrieve the journal articles.
Knowing if the author of the article is a feminist critic will be difficult until you gain some experience in feminist literary research. The following list will aid you in recognizing the names of some well-known, contemporary feminist critics: Kathy Acker, Annette Kolodny, Elaine Showalter, Carolyn Heilbrun, Nancy K. Miller, Sandra Gilbert, Andrea Dworkin, Susan De Salvo, Cynthia Ozick, Luce Irigary, Julia Kristeva, Catherine Clement, Alicia Ostriker, Helene Cixous, Jane Gallop, Shari Benstock, Coppelia Kahn, Toril Moi, Catherine Belsey, Adrienne Rich, Jacqueline Rose, and Camille Paglia.
Primary Sources on Feminist Theory
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex 301.412 B (5th floor)
Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born 306.8473 R (5th floor)
Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which is Not One 155.3333 I (5th floor)
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own 824 Woolf
Nancy K. Miller, The Poetics of Gender 809.892 P
Patricia Meyer Spacks, The Female Imagination 820.9 S
Toril Moi, ed., The Kristeva Reader 808.0014 K
Dorothy Dinnerstein, The Mermaid and the Minotaur 301.41 D (5th floor)
Katherine M. Rogers, The Troublesome Helpmeet: The History of Misogyny in Literature 809.933 R
Toril Moi, Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory 801.9508 M
Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Toward a Recognition of Androgyny 809.933 H
Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, The Newly Born Woman 305.4 C (5th floor)
Some Secondary Sources on Feminist Theory
Contemporary Literary Criticism. volume 76, pp. 377-415
Contemporary literary Criticism. volume 65, pp. 312-360
Dictionary of Literary Biography. volume 67. This gives biographical information on Annette Kolodny, Elaine Showalter and Adrienne Rich. For information on modern Critical Terms, Schools and Movements, see pp. 287-307
Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature 809.892 B
Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 820.9 B
Making a Difference: Feminist Literary Criticism ed. Gayle Greene and Coppelia Kahn. 801.9508 M
Judith Fetterley, The Resisting Reader: A Feminist Approach to American Fiction 813.009 K
Annette Kolodny, The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience in American Life and Letters 810.93 K
Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing 823.8 S
Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination 820.9 G
Armstonrg, Nancy, ed., Literature as Women's History I, a special issue of Genre, vol, 19/20, 1986-87, contains feminist/New Historicist analyses. 4th floor Periodicals
Feminist Studies, vol. 14, 1988 is special issue devoted to feminism and deconstruction. 4th floor Periodicals
- Many, many links provided by this well-established site
- 4,000 pages of bibliography in 70 categories