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Women’s Studies

Women’s Studies Book List

Cover of 'Modernism and the Women’s Popular Romance in Britain, 1885–1925'

Modernism and the Women’s Popular Romance in Britain, 1885–1925
By Martin Hipsky

Today’s mass-market romances have their precursors in late Victorian popular novels written by and for women. In Modernism and the Women’s Popular Romance Martin Hipsky scrutinizes some of the best-selling British fiction from the period 1885 to 1925, the era when romances, especially those by British women, were sold and read more widely than ever before or since.Recent

Cover of 'Our New Husbands Are Here'

Our New Husbands Are Here
Households, Gender, and Politics in a West African State from the Slave Trade to Colonial Rule
By Emily Lynn Osborn

In Our New Husbands Are Here, Emily Lynn Osborn investigates a central puzzle of power and politics in West African history: Why do women figure frequently in the political narratives of the precolonial period, and then vanish altogether with colonization? Osborn addresses this question by exploring the relationship of the household to the state.

A Children’s Literature Association Book Award “Honor Book”
Cover of 'X Marks the Spot'

X Marks the Spot
Women Writers Map the Empire for British Children, 1790–1895
By Megan A. Norcia

During the nineteenth century, geography primers shaped the worldviews of Britain’s ruling classes and laid the foundation for an increasingly globalized world. Written by middle-class women who mapped the world that they had neither funds nor freedom to traverse, the primers employed rhetorical tropes such as the Family of Man or discussions of food and customs in order to plot other cultures along an imperial hierarchy.Cross-disciplinary

Cover of 'Wanted—Correspondence'

Wanted—Correspondence
Women’s Letters to a Union Soldier
Edited by Nancy L. Rhoades and Lucy E. Bailey

A unique collection of more than 150 letters written to an Ohio serviceman during the American Civil War offers glimpses of women’s lives as they waited, worked, and wrote from the Ohio home front.

Cover of 'Heretical Hellenism'

Heretical Hellenism
Women Writers, Ancient Greece, and the Victorian Popular Imagination
By Shanyn Fiske

Heretical Hellenism examines sources such as theater history and popular journals to uncover the ways women acquired knowledge of Greek literature, history, and philosophy and challenged traditional humanist assumptions about the uniformity of classical knowledge and about women’s place in literary history.

Cover of 'Come Buy, Come Buy'

Come Buy, Come Buy
Shopping and the Culture of Consumption in Victorian Women’s Writing
By Krista Lysack

From the 1860s through the early twentieth century, Great Britain saw the rise of the department store and the institutionalization of a gendered sphere of consumption.

Winner of the 2007 Aidoo-Snyder Scholarly Book Prize
Cover of 'Women, Work & Domestic Virtue in Uganda, 1900–2003'

Women, Work & Domestic Virtue in Uganda, 1900–2003
By Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo and Marjorie Keniston McIntosh

This groundbreaking book by two leading scholars offers a complete historical picture of women and their work in Uganda, tracing developments from precolonial times to the present and into the future. Setting women’s economic activities into a broader political, social, and cultural context, it provides the first general account of their experiences amid the changes that shaped the country.

Cover of 'Women and Slavery, Volume One'

Women and Slavery, Volume One
Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic
Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.

Cover of 'Women and Slavery, Volume Two'

Women and Slavery, Volume Two
The Modern Atlantic
Edited by Gwyn Campbell, Suzanne Miers, and Joseph C. Miller

The literature on women enslaved around the world has grown rapidly in the last ten years, evidencing strong interest in the subject across a range of academic disciplines.

Cover of 'Sorcery and Sovereignty'

Sorcery and Sovereignty
Taxation, Power, and Rebellion in South Africa, 1880–1963
By Sean Redding

Rebellions broke out in many areas of South Africa shortly after the institution of white rule in the late nineteenth century and continued into the next century. However, distrust of the colonial regime reached a new peak in the mid-twentieth century, when revolts erupted across a wide area of rural South Africa. All these uprisings were rooted in grievances over taxes.

Cover of 'The Fairer Death'

The Fairer Death
Executing Women in Ohio
By Victor L. Streib

Women on death row are such a rarity that, once condemned, they may be ignored and forgotten. Ohio, a typical, middle-of-the-road death penalty state, provides a telling example of this phenomenon. The Fairer Death: Executing Women in Ohio explores Ohio’s experience with the death penalty for women and reflects on what this experience reveals about the death penalty for women throughout the nation.Victor

Cover of 'Expecting Teryk'

Expecting Teryk
An Exceptional Path to Parenthood
By Dawn Prince-Hughes

The period just prior to the birth of a child is a time of profound personal transformation for expectant parents. Expecting Teryk: An Exceptional Path to Parenthood is an intimate exploration, written in the form of a letter from a parent to her future son, that reclaims a rite of passage that modern society would strip of its magic.

Cover of 'Disarming Manhood'

Disarming Manhood
Roots of Ethical Resistance
By David A. J. Richards

Masculine codes of honor and dominance often are expressed in acts of violence, including war and terrorism. In Disarming Manhood: Roots of Ethical Resistance, David A. J. Richards examines the lives of five famous men—great leaders and crusaders—who actively resisted violence and presented more humane alternatives to further their causes.Richards argues that William Lloyd Garrison, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Cover of 'Beyond Hill and Hollow'

Beyond Hill and Hollow
Original Readings in Appalachian Women’s Studies
Edited by Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

Women’s studies unites with Appalachian studies in Beyond Hill and Hollow, the first book to focus exclusively on studies of Appalachia’s women. Featuring the work of historians, linguists, sociologists, performance artists, literary critics, theater scholars, and others, the collection portrays the diverse cultures of Appalachian women.The

Cover of 'Negotiating Power and Privilege'

Negotiating Power and Privilege
Career Igbo Women in Contemporary Nigeria
By Philomina E. Okeke-Ihejirika

Even with a university education, the Igbo women of southeastern Nigeria face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their professional and personal potentials. Negotiating Power and Privilege is a study of their life choices and the embedded patriarchy and other obstacles in postcolonial Africa barring them from fulfillment.Philomina E. Okeke recorded life-history interviews and discussions during the 1990s with educated women of differing ages and professions.

Cover of 'Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution'

Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas
By Karen Kampwirth

In many Latin American countries, guerrilla struggle and feminism have been linked in surprising ways. Women were mobilized by the thousands to promote revolutionary agendas that had little to do with increasing gender equality. They ended up creating a uniquely Latin American version of feminism that combined revolutionary goals of economic equality and social justice with typically feminist aims of equality, nonviolence, and reproductive rights.Drawing

Cover of 'Body Story'

Body Story
By Julia K. De Pree

Something other than a memoir of a life well lived, Body Story conveys Julia K. De Pree’s troubling journey from adolescence to adulthood and from anorexia to health.For De Pree, between being a girl and being a woman, there was starvation. Body Story is her intimate account of girlhood, virginity, anorexia, and motherhood. De Pree’s prose is spare and unguarded, revealing in vivid flashbacks and poignant vignettes the sources of her inner pain.In

Cover of 'Subjects on Display'

Subjects on Display
Psychoanalysis, Social Expectation, and Victorian Femininity
By Beth Newman

Subjects on Display explores a recurrent figure at the heart of many nineteenth-century English novels: the retiring, self-effacing woman who is conspicuous for her inconspicuousness. Beth Newman draws upon both psychoanalytic theory and recent work in social history as she argues that this paradoxical figure, who often triumphs over more dazzling, eye-catching rivals, is a response to the forces that made personal display a vexed issue for Victorian women.

Cover of 'The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature'

The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature
By Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt

Contemporaries were shocked when author Mary Noailles Murfree revealed she was a woman, but modern readers may be more surprised by her cogent discussion of community responses to unwanted development. Effie Waller Smith, an African American woman writing of her love for the Appalachian mountains, wove discussions of women’s rights, racial tension, and cultural difference into her Appalachian poetry.

Cover of 'Profiles of Ohio Women, 1803–2003'

Profiles of Ohio Women, 1803–2003
By Jacqueline Jones Royster

Developed by the Ohio Bicentennial Commission’s Advisory Council on Women, this collection profiles a few of the many women who have left their imprint on the state, nation, world, and even outer space.

Cover of 'Gabriela Mistral'

Gabriela Mistral
The Audacious Traveler
Edited by Marjorie Agosín

Gabriela Mistral is the only Latin American woman writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Even so, her extraordinary achievements in poetry, narrative, and political essays remain largely untold. Gabriela Mistral: The Audacious Traveler explores boldly and thoughtfully the complex legacy of Mistral and the way in which her work continues to define Latin America.Edited

Cover of 'The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin'

The Ceramic Career of M. Louise McLaughlin
By Anita J. Ellis

A tribute to a woman artist who rose to one of the highest positions in her field.

Cover of 'Vernon Lee'

Vernon Lee
Aesthetics, History, and the Victorian Female Intellectual
By Christa Zorn

The subject of renewed interest among literary and cultural scholars, Vernon Lee wrote more than forty books, in a broad range of genres, including fiction, history, aesthetics, and travel literature. Early on, Lee established her reputation as a public critic whose unconventional viewpoints stood out among those of her contemporaries.To

Cover of 'Women, Work, and Representation'

Women, Work, and Representation
Needlewomen in Victorian Art and Literature
By Lynn M. Alexander

In Victorian England, virtually all women were taught to sew; needlework was allied with images of domestic economy and with traditional female roles of wife and mother- with home rather than factory. The professional seamstress, however, labored long hours for very small wages creating gowns for the upper and middle classes.

Cover of 'Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy'

Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy
Malevolent Geographies
By Glen S. Elder

In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country’s visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.Professor

Listed in The Magazine Antiques as one of the top eleven recommended books on American samplers and needlework.
Cover of 'Ohio Is My Dwelling Place'

Ohio Is My Dwelling Place
Schoolgirl Embroideries, 1800–1850
By Sue Studebaker

One of the most intriguing cultural artifacts of our nation’s past was made by young girls—the embroidery sampler. In Ohio Is My Dwelling Place, American decorative arts expert Sue Studebaker documents the samplers created in Ohio prior to 1850, the girls who made them, their families, and the teachers who taught them to stitch.In

Cover of 'Stepping Forward'

Stepping Forward
Black Women in Africa and the Americas
Edited by Catherine Higgs, Barbara A. Moss, and Earline Rae Ferguson

A unique and important study, Stepping Forward examines the experiences of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black women in Africa and African diaspora communities from a variety of perspectives in a number of different settings.This wide-ranging collection designed for classroom use explores the broad themes that have shaped black women’s goals, options, and responses: religion, education, political activism, migration, and cultural transformation.

Cover of 'Educating Women'

Educating Women
Cultural Conflict and Victorian Literature
By Laura Morgan Green

In 1837, when Queen Victoria came to the throne, no institution of higher education in Britain was open to women. By the end of the century, a quiet revolution had occurred: women had penetrated even the venerable walls of Oxford and Cambridge and could earn degrees at the many new universities founded during Victoria’s reign. During the same period, novelists increasingly put intellectually ambitious heroines students, teachers, and frustrated scholars—at the center of their books.

Cover of 'Buckeye Women'

Buckeye Women
The History of Ohio’s Daughters
By Stephane Elise Booth

An accessible and comprehensive account of the role Ohio women have assumed in the history of the state and a narrative of their hardships and of the victories that have been won in the past two hundred years.

Cover of 'Hidden Hands'

Hidden Hands
Working-Class Women and Victorian Social-Problem Fiction
By Patricia E. Johnson

Tracing the Victorian crisis over the representation of working-class women to the 1842 Parliamentary bluebook on mines, with its controversial images of women at work, Hidden Hands argues that the female industrial worker became even more dangerous to represent than the prostitute or the male radical because she exposed crucial contradictions between the class and gender ideologies of the period and its economic realities.Drawing

Cover of 'Our Lady of Victorian Feminism'

Our Lady of Victorian Feminism
The Madonna in the Work of Anna Jameson, Margaret Fuller, and George Eliot
By Kimberly VanEsveld Adams

Our Lady of Victorian Feminism is about three nineteenth-century women (Jameson, Margaret Fuller, and George Eliot), Protestants by background and feminists by conviction, who are curiously and crucially linked by their extensive use of the Madonna in arguments designed to empower women.

Cover of 'West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers'

West Virginia Quilts and Quiltmakers
Echoes from the Hills
By Fawn Valentine

Tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, preserved for generations, handmade bed quilts are windows into the past. In 1983, three West Virginia county extension agents discussed the need to locate and document their state’s historic quilts. Mary Nell Godbey, Margaret Meador, and Mary Lou Schmidt joined with other concerned women to found the West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search.The

Cover of 'My Sisters Telegraphic'

My Sisters Telegraphic
Women in the Telegraph Office, 1846–1950
By Thomas C. Jepsen

The role of the telegraph operator in the mid-nineteenth century was like that of today’s software programmer/analyst, according to independent scholar Tom Jepsen, who notes that in the “cyberspace” of long ago, male operators were often surprised to learn that the “first-class man” on the other end of the wire was a woman.Like the computer, the telegraph caused a technological revolution.

Cover of 'Stolen Life'

Stolen Life
The Journey of a Cree Woman
By Rudy Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson

The award-winning Stolen Life is a remarkable collaborative work between a distinguished novelist and a Cree woman who broke a lifetime of silence to share her story. Imprisoned for murder at the age of twenty-seven, Yvonne Johnson sought out Rudy Wiebe, the chronicler of her ancestor Big Bear, as a means of coming to terms with her self, her past, and the crime that defines her future.

Cover of 'West of the Border'

West of the Border
The Multicultural Literature of the Western American Frontiers
By Noreen Groover Lape

Expanding the scope of American borderland and frontier literary scholarship, West of the Border examines the writings of nineteenth- and turn-of-the-century Native, African, Asian, and Anglo American frontier writers. This book views frontiers as “human spaces” where cultures make contact as it considers multicultural frontier writers who speak from “west of the border.”James

Cover of 'Staking Her Claim'

Staking Her Claim
The Life of Belinda Mulrooney, Klondike and Alaska Entrepreneur
By Melanie J. Mayer and Robert N. DeArmond

If Horatio Alger had imagined a female heroine in the same mold as one of the young male heroes in his rags-to-riches stories, she would have looked like Belinda Mulrooney. Smart, ambitious, competitive, and courageous, Belinda Mulrooney was destined through her legendary pioneering in the wilds of the Yukon basin to found towns and many businesses. She built two fortunes, supported her family, was an ally to other working women, and triumphed in what was considered a man’s world.In

Cover of 'African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900–1950'

African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900–1950
By Tabitha Kanogo

This book explores the history of African womanhood in colonial Kenya. By focussing on key sociocultural institutions and practices around which the lives of women were organized, and on the protracted debates that surrounded these institutions and practices during the colonial period, it investigates the nature of indigenous, mission, and colonial control of African women.The

Cover of 'Nomadic Voices of Exile'

Nomadic Voices of Exile
Feminine Identity in the Francophone Literature of the Maghreb
By Valérie K. Orlando

Contemporary French writing on the Maghreb—that part of Africa above the Sahara—is truly postmodern in scope, the rich product of multifaceted histories promoting the blending of two worlds, two identities, two cultures, and two languages.Nomadic Voices of Exile demonstrates how that postmodern sentiment has altered perceptions concerning Maghrebian feminine identity since the end of the French-colonial era.

Cover of 'Dangerous Dames'

Dangerous Dames
Women and Representation in Film Noir and the Weimar Street Film
By Jans B. Wager

Both film noir and the Weimar street film hold a continuing fascination for film spectators and film theorists alike. The female characters, especially the alluring femmes fatales, remain a focus for critical and popular attention. In the tradition of such attention, Dangerous Dames focuses on the femme fatale and her antithesis, the femme attrapée.Unlike

Cover of 'Virginia Woolf'

Virginia Woolf
Reading the Renaissance
Edited by Sally Greene

The story of “Shakespeare’s sister” that Virginia Woolf tells in A Room of One’s Own has sparked interest in the question of the place of the woman writer in the Renaissance. By now, the process of recovering lost voices of early modern women is well under way. But Woolf’s engagement with the Renaissance went deeper than that question indicates, as important as it was.

Cover of 'A Woman of the Times'

A Woman of the Times
Journalism, Feminism, and the Career of Charlotte Curtis
By Marilyn S. Greenwald
· Foreword by Liz Smith

How a woman reporter from Columbus, Ohio, broke into the ranks of the male-dominated upper echelon at the New York Times.

Cover of 'Ruskin’s Mythic Queen'

Ruskin’s Mythic Queen
Gender Subversion in Victorian Culture
By Sharon Aronofsky Weltman

John Ruskin’s prominence as the author of “Of Queen’s Gardens,” his principal statement of Victorian gender opposition, makes him an ideal example for analyzing the power of mythic discourse to undermine gender division. Here, Ruskin creates a vision of feminine authority that draws simultaneously upon several sources (including the goddess Athena and Queen Victoria herself) to empower women in a worldwide arena redefined as a broader version of their domestic realm.

Cover of 'Midwives of the Revolution'

Midwives of the Revolution
Female Bolsheviks and Women Workers in 1917
By Jane McDermid and Anna Hillyar

The Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 and the ensuing communist regime have often been portrayed as a man’s revolution, with women as bystanders or even victims. Midwives of the Revolution examines the powerful contribution made by women to the overthrow of tsarism in 1917 and their importance in the formative years of communism in Russia.Focusing

Rated “Outstanding” by University Press Books Committee
Cover of 'Dared & Done'

Dared & Done
The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning
By Julia Markus

Based extensively on their writings and letters to each other, this chronicle of Elizabeth Barrett’s and Robert Browning’s life together stands in bold relief against the backdrop of their Victorian world. Their passionate partnership overcame any number of obstacles — Elizabeth’s role in her father’s family; her illness; her Creole background; Robert’s tentative career — to culminate in a marriage of mutual devotion.

Cover of 'Arrows of Longing'

Arrows of Longing
The Correspondence between Anaïs Nin and Felix Pollak, 1952–1976
By Gregory H. Mason

In the winter of 1951-52, Anaïs Nin was a writer in despair. More than a dozen publishing houses had rejected her new novel, A Spy in the House of Love, and Nin became desperate for literary acceptance. Encouragement came from an unexpected source. Felix Pollak, an Austrian emigré and Rare Book Librarian at Northwestern University, had been entrusted with the task of acquiring some of Nin’s manuscripts for the library.