Separate Spheres No More: Gender Convergence in American Literature, 1830-1930
Although they wrote in the same historical milieu as their male counterparts, women writers of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries have generally been "ghettoized" by critics into a separate canonical sphere. These original essays argue in favor of reconciling male and female writers, both historically and in the context of classroom teaching.
While some of the essays pair up female and male authors who write in a similar style or with similar concerns, others address social issues shared by both men and women, including class tensions, economic problems, and the Civil War experience. Rather than privileging particular genres or certain well-known writers, the contributors examine writings ranging from novels and poetry to autobiography, utopian fiction, and essays. And they consider familiar figures like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson, and Ralph Waldo Emerson alongside such lesser-known writers as Melusina Fay Peirce, Susie King Taylor, and Mary Gove Nichols.
Each essay revises the binary notions that have been ascribed to males and females, such as public and private, rational and intuitive, political and domestic, violent and passive. Although they do not deny the existence of separate spheres, the contributors show the boundary between them to be much more blurred than has been assumed until now.
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Abbie African African-American Aldrich American Women antebellum argues authors Bildungsroman body century Civil Colored American cooperative critics cult of domesticity cultural Davis’s deﬁned discourse domestic imperialism Elizabeth Ellen Emerson Emily Dickinson essay Fanny Fern female feminine feminist feminized Fern’s ﬁction ﬁctional ﬁgure ﬁnancial ﬁnd ﬁrst Fleda ﬂower gender Harriet Beecher Stowe Hawthorne heroines Higginson Hopkins’s housekeeping husband ideal inﬂuence invasion labor literary literature lives Lydia Maria Child Maggie male Margaret Fuller marriage Mary Lyndon men’s middle—class moral mother narrative narrator nature Nichols Nichols’s nineteenth Nineteenth-Century American nineteenth-century women novel Oakes-Smith one’s Pauline Hopkins Peirce Peirce’s physical physicians poem political private-public Queechy race racial reader reﬂect reform role Ruth Hall self—reliance sentimental sentimental literature separate spheres sexual slaves social Spofford story Susan Taylor theater tion transcendentalist Uncle Warner woman woman’s womanhood women writers writing York