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DepositExpanding Access: Feminist Scholarship and the Women in Book History Bibliography

Inspired by my work on the Women in Book History Bibliography, this presentation takes a different angle on discussions of women’s texts in digital archives. The WBHB collects secondary sources on women’s writing and labor over a broad range of languages, subjects, geographic locations, and time periods. Because we collect secondary sources, we do not quite fit into the community of digital archives that collect and present women’s texts. Yet, we are intricately connected to these resources; we face comparable challenges of funding and longevity, appeal to similar audiences, and ultimately share a philosophy of increased access and scholarship on the same set of texts. This presentation outlines the bibliographic connection between databases of primary sources on women’s writing and secondary-source databases like the WBHB. I conclude that such projects go beyond forwarding feminist scholarship and in face preserve it.

DepositWhitewashing Arabic for global consumption: translating race in The Story of Zahra

This article argues that, in reading comparatively the Arabic and English versions of Hanan al-Shaykh’s 1980 Hikayat Zahra, a pattern of omitting race and racial language emerges in the English version, published in 1986. I use a close reading of the translation’s selective appropriation of the original’s racial and political language to argue for a more intersectional approach to Arabic women’s writing, even as I acknowledge the structural and institutional contexts and constraints under which they operate and circulate in the global market of ‘world literature’.

MemberKirstyn Leuner

Dr. Kirstyn J. Leuner is Assistant Professor of English at Santa Clara University. She earned her Ph.D. in Romantic-era literature at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research interests include literature of the long 18th century, digital humanities (DH), women’s writing, media history, and romanticism. She has published essays on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, Rodolphe Töpffer’s earliest comic strips, markup languages, and book history. She directs the Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing, a multi-institutional DH project that studies Francis Stainforth’s library, the largest private library of women’s writing collected in the 19th century. She is also a board member of and webmistress for the British Women Writers Association and an advisory board member for Romantic Circles Pedagogies. See her new faculty profile on SCU’s English Department website. When not writing or teaching, she is probably rock climbing or getting lost on a trail run.

DepositLetters to the Woman’s Page Editor: Francis Marion Beynon’s ‘The Country Homemakers’ and a Public Culture for Women

This essay focuses on the woman’s page in the Grain Growers’ Guide, edited between 1912 and 1917 by Francis Marion Beynon. I approach this material with questions that have become prominent in rhetorical studies of women’s writing. How were women called forth to speak, and what were their motivations to participate in public debate? How did woman’s page editors shape the conditions under which they themselves and other women could articulate their concerns? I show that suffragist editor Francis Marion Beynon created situations in which she and other women could speak publicly and politically about issues such as women’s suffrage.

MemberAmanda Zoch

Amanda Zoch is a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and Legislative Policy Specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She received her Ph.D. in English from Indiana University in June 2018 and was a 2017-2018 American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellow. She is a scholar of early modern literature, and her book project, Pregnant Precarities: Erasure, Performance, and Revision in Early Modern Drama and Women’s Writing, is based on her dissertation, which was awarded the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America in 2019.

MemberMichelle M. Dowd

I am the Hudson Strode Professor of English and Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama.   I specialize in early modern literature, with concentrations in Tudor and Stuart drama, Shakespeare, and early modern women’s writing.  My additional teaching and research interests include early modern theater culture, dramatic genres, feminist theory and gender studies, economic criticism, and early modern religious culture.  

MemberWhitney Sperrazza

I specialize in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry and women’s writing, with secondary expertise in history of science. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Hall Center for the Humanities, University of Kansas. In Fall 2019, I will take up a position as Assistant Professor of English at the Rochester Institute of Technology. My research explores the relationship between tangibility and intangibility. In my digital work, this relationship informs my efforts to put bodies back into data and to experiment with how technology helps us engage differently with historical literary texts. In my current book project, Perverse Intimacies: Poetry, Anatomy, and the Early Modern Female Form, I explore the heretofore undetected collisions between feminist poetic practice and Renaissance anatomical methods. Perverse Intimacies establishes early modern women writers as active interlocutors within emerging scientific discourses and offers a new definition of poetic form shaped by the informational models of early science.

DepositMary Stewart’s Greek Novels: Hellenism, Orientalism and the Cultural Politics of Pulp Presentation

This chapter makes two critical interventions: one to redirect attention to women’s writing on Greece from a century that was dominated by either a masculine homosocial modernity or Byron’s long shadow in David Roessel’s sense (2002); and two, revising the critical scotoma that surrounds Hellenism as a process of power and style of thought in the shadow of Edward Said’s critical study Orientalism (1995[1978]). For the former, even Virginia Woolf’s Jacob orients himself around a self-discovery that takes place amidst male heteronormativity. For the latter, Said’s work shaped a generation of scholars by extending the 1950–1960 Marxist discourses of decolonization beyond the materialism of Albert Memmi and Frantz Fanon to include foucauldian approaches to institutions like the university, the operations of power on styles of knowledge, and the biopolitics of colonialism. However, Said did so while opening Orientalist Studies as a disciplinary field, a discourse, and a participant in institutions to an ideological critique while in the same breath excusing Hellenic Studies as an acceptable, naturalized, and neutral exercise of power-knowledge. Likewise, the rise of a critical discourse of decolonization developed into postcolonial theory during a literary moment when the notional understanding of Greece from the perspective of the former centers of global power was moving from a politicized Romanticism to a personalized modernism.