Genders (The New Critical Idiom)

Genders (The New Critical Idiom)

Language: English

Pages: 212

ISBN: 0415442435

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The concept of gender continues to be a central issue in literary and cultural studies, with a significance that crosses disciplinary boundaries and provokes lively debate. In this fully revised and updated second edition, David Glover and Cora Kaplan offer a lucid and illuminating introduction to ’gender’ and its implications, including:

  • an overview of the critical language and concepts surrounding gender from their historical inception to contemporary debates
  • discussions of the major theorists in the field updated and extended coverage of lesbian and queer theory
  • a new glossary of terms essential to an understanding of the debate on gender in contemporary theory.

With its impressive breadth and depth of coverage, this volume offers not only a comprehensive history of this complex term, but also indicates its ongoing presence in literary and cultural theory and the new directions it is taking.

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categories through which identity has traditionally 9 been thought, to disengage identity from gender, and to enact a 1011 new form of subjectivity within literary language places 1 considerable demands upon her readers, preventing them from 2 holding on to the binary logic that oppressively couples men and 3111 women together. This linguistic disruption is intensified still 4 further in her later books. In Les Guérillères (1969), for instance, 5 Wittig makes extensive use of the rather

and psychoanalysis that we first see the late modern concept of gender beginning to emerge. In the United States especially, the years following the Second World War produced something of a boom for sexology and psychoanalysis. In sexology this phenomenon is best represented by the massive interest aroused when Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male was published in 1948. Although it was an expensive scientific text filled with statistical tables rather than graphic illustrations,

monstrously alone, 7 monstrously vain’ (Barnes 1961: 100, 146). As these examples 8 suggest, the term ‘queer’ can also be applied to Barnes’s language 911 and style since her words tend to operate ‘on the level of surface, 20111 sound, and combination with other wordimages, rather than 1 serving as an index of rational meaning’. Moreover, Boone sees 2 a close parallel between the condition of ‘permanent alienation’ 3 in which ‘the narrative’s queer subjects’ live as social and sexual 4

Masculine and a Feminine Cast’. Here the 2 idealization of femininity is made possible through a parallel 3111 idealization of domesticity since, according to Steele, ‘to manage 4 well a great Family, is as worthy an Instance of Capacity, as to 5 execute a great Employment’ (156–7). This doctrine of separate 6 but complementary spheres – Steele is careful to say that men do 7 not have ‘superior Qualities’ – also underwrites Addison’s eulogy 8 on the ‘Pleasures’ of ‘a happy Marriage’ with

weekly American ritual of 6 watching Dynasty in gay bars discussed by Jane Feuer in her 7 study of 1980s television is an important contemporary example 811 of the ‘subcultural appropriation of a text’, a moment of collective 178 READERS AND SPECTATORS identity in a political climate not noticeably hospitable to gay rights (Feuer 1995: 135). And the development of the kind of intensive fan culture vividly portrayed in Constance Penley’s work on ‘slash fandom’ points to some dramatic new

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