First Wave Feminism and Print Culture in Britain
The course will examine a range of writings by late Victorian and Edwardian feminists, including literary genres, essays and polemical works, periodicals/little magazines and memoirs/ autobiography. The selection and approach to the readings will be informed by the concept of the formation of a feminist public sphere as an "oppositional discursive arena" in these years (Felski), and the idea of writing as social practice. The scope and variety of women's writing, issues of form (e.g. realism), the tension between aesthetics and politics, theories of value, etc. will be considered in relation to the privileging of modernism in historical narratives of 20th-century
literature and culture. The considerations underlying the course extend beyond the project of recovery and expanding the canon, to an investigation/interrogation of the social, political, and economic factors influencing what was produced, marketed, read, and ultimately legitimized/privileged through institutions of criticism. Authors include Mona Caird, Eliza Lynn Linton, Cicely Hamilton, Gertrude Colmore, Rebecca West, Dora Marsden.