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This resource will help you begin the process of understanding literary theory and schools of criticism and how they are used in the academy. Feminist criticism is concerned with " This school of theory looks at how aspects of our culture are inherently patriarchal male dominated and aims to expose misogyny in writing about women, which can take explicit and implicit forms. This misogyny, Tyson reminds us, can extend into diverse areas of our culture: "Perhaps the most chilling example Feminist criticism is also concerned with less obvious forms of marginalization such as the exclusion of women writers from the traditional literary canon: " Though a number of different approaches exist in feminist criticism, there exist some areas of commonality.

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This list is excerpted from Tyson 92 :. Simon Swift of the University of Leeds gives a podcast titled 'How Words, Form, and Structure Create Meaning: Women and Writing' that uses the works of Virginia Woolf and Silvia Plath to analyse the form and structural aspects of texts to ask whether or not women writers have a voice inherently different from that of men podcast part 1 and part 2.

In Professor Deborah Cameron's podcast English and Gender , Cameron discusses the differences and similarities in use of the English language between men and women. In another of Professor Paul Fry's podcasts, Queer Theory and Gender Performativity , Fry discusses sexuality, the nature of performing gender , and gendered reading How do more modern A-level set texts, like those of Margaret Atwood, Zora Neale Hurston, or Maya Angelou, fit into any of these traditions of criticism?

How might the reign of Queen Elizabeth I have dictated the way Elizabethan writers were permitted to present women?

Feminist Criticism // Purdue Writing Lab

How did each male poet handle the challenge of depicting women? The heroine was a man playing a woman dressed as a man. In Dr. Emma Smith's podcast on The Roaring Girl , Smith breaks down both the gender issues of the play and of the real life accusations against Mary Frith. Placing Middleton or Webster's female characters against those of Shakespeare could be brought to bear on A-level Paper 4 on Drama or Paper 5 on Shakespeare and other preth Century Texts.

Smith's podcast on The Comedy of Errors from alludes to the valuation of Elizabethan comedy as a commentary on gender and sexuality, and how The Comedy of Errors at first seems to defy this tradition. What are the differences between depictions of women written by male and female novelists? How do Lawrence's sexually charged novels compare with what Emma Smith said about Webster's treatment of women's sexuality in The Duchess of Malfi? Abigail Williams' podcast on Jonathan Swift's The Lady's Dressing-Room discusses the ways in which Swift uses and complicates contemporary stereotypes about the vanity of women.

Liberal feminist criticism

With the movement from Renaissance to Restoration theatre, the depiction of women on stage changed dramatically, in no small part because women could portray women for the first time. Abigail Williams' adapted lecture, Behn and the Restoration Theatre , discusses Behn's use and abuse of the woman on stage. What were the feminist advantages and disadvantages to women's introduction to the stage?

The essay Who is Aphra Behn? How might Woolf's description and analysis of Behn indicate her own feminist agenda? Behn created an obstacle for later women writers in that her scandalous life did little to undermine the perception that women writing for money were little better than whores.

Feminist Literary History Todd Janet

In what position did that place chaste female novelists like Frances Burney or Jane Austen? To what extent was the perception of women and the literary vogue for female heroines impacted by Samuel Richardson's Pamela?

Brown discusses feminist criticism of Eliot's novels. In the podcast Genre and Justice , she discusses Eliot's use of women as scapegoats to illustrate the injustice of the distribution of happiness in Victorian England. Can women's financial and social plights be separated? How did class barriers affect the work of 18th century kitchen maid and poet Mary Leapor? At , Fry questions whether or not any novel can be evaluated without consideration of financial and class concerns, and to what extent Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own suggests a female novelist can only create successful work if she is of independent means.

The Traditions of Feminist Criticism According to Yale Professor Paul Fry in his lecture The Classical Feminist Tradition from , there have been several prominent schools of thought in modern feminist literary criticism: First Wave Feminism: Men's Treatment of Women In this early stage of feminist criticism, critics consider male novelists' demeaning treatment or marginalisation of female characters.

The Philosophical Bases of Feminist Literary Criticisms

An example of first wave feminist literary analysis would be a critique of William Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew for Petruchio's abuse of Katherina. Gynocriticism involves three major aspects. The first is the examination of female writers and their place in literary history.


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