Politics, Philosophy & Social Sciences Women's Studies Books

The Awakening

THE AWAKENING, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and on the Louisiana Gulf coast at the end of the 19th century, the plot centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century American South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating a mixed reaction from contemporary readers and critics.The novel's blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary, and psycho¬logical complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernist literature; it prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James. It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern master¬pieces of Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams. (more at wisehouse-classics.com)

Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color

“A passionate, incisive critique of the many ways in which women and girls of color are systematically erased or marginalized in discussions of police violence.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim CrowInvisible No More is a timely examination of how Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color experience racial profiling, police brutality, and immigration enforcement. By placing the individual stories of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Dajerria Becton, Monica Jones, and Mya Hall in the broader context of the twin epidemics of police violence and mass incarceration, Andrea Ritchie documents the evolution of movements centered around women’s experiences of policing. Featuring a powerful forward by activist Angela Davis, Invisible No More is an essential exposé on police violence against WOC that demands a radical rethinking of our visions of safety—and the means we devote to achieving it.

Young, Female and Black

Young black women bear all the hallmarks of a fundamentally unequal society. They do well at school, contribute to society, are good efficient workers yet, as a group they consistently fail to secure the economic status and occupational prestige they deserve. This book presents a serious challenge to the widely held myth that young black women consistently underachieve both at school and in the labour market. In a comparative study of research and writig from America, Britain and the Caribbean Young, Female and Black re-examines our present understanding of what is meant by educational underachievement, the black family and, in particular, black womanhood in Britain.

The Oldest Vocation: Christian Motherhood in the Medieval West

According to an old story, a woman concealed her sex and ruled as pope for a few years in the ninth century. Pope Joan was not betrayed by a lover or discovered by an enemy; her downfall came when she went into labor during a papal procession through the streets of Rome. From the myth of Joan to the experiences of saints, nuns, and ordinary women, The Oldest Vocation brings to life both the richness and the troubling contradictions of Christian motherhood in medieval Europe.After tracing the roots of medieval ideologies of motherhood in early Christianity, Clarissa W. Atkinson reconstructs the physiological assumptions underlying medieval notions about women's bodies and reproduction; inherited from Greek science and popularized through the practice of midwifery, these assumptions helped shape common beliefs about what mothers were. She then describes the development of "spiritual motherhood" both as a concept emerging out of monastic ideologies in the early Middle Ages and as a reality in the lives of certain remarkable women. Atkinson explores the theological dimensions of medieval motherhood by discussing the cult of the Virgin Mary in twelfth-century art, story, and religious expression. She also offers a fascinating new perspective on the women saints of the later Middle Ages, many of whom were mothers; their lives and cults forged new relationships between maternity and holiness. The Oldest Vocation concludes where most histories of motherhood begin—in early modern Europe, when the family was institutionalized as a center of religious and social organization.Anyone interested in the status of motherhood, or in women's history, the cultural history of the Middle Ages, or the history of religion will want to read this book.

Eugenics and Other Evils

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Bluestocking Feminism and British-German Cultural Transfer, 1750-1837

Bluestocking Feminism and British-German Cultural Transfer, 1750–1837 examines the processes of cultural transfer between Britain and Germany during the Personal Union, the period from 1714 to 1837 when the kings of England were simultaneously Electors of Hanover. While scholars have generally focused on the political and diplomatic implications of the Personal Union, Alessa Johns offers a new perspective by tracing sociocultural repercussions and investigating how, in the period of the American and French Revolutions, Britain and Germany generated distinct discourses of liberty even though they were nonrevolutionary countries. British and German reformists—feminists in particular—used the period’s expanded pathways of cultural transfer to generate new discourses as well as to articulate new views of what personal freedom, national character, and international interaction might be. Johns traces four pivotal moments of cultural exchange: the expansion of the book trade, the rage for translation, the effect of revolution on intra-European travel and travel writing, and the impact of transatlantic journeys on visions of reform. Johns reveals the way in which what she terms “bluestocking transnationalism” spawned discourses of liberty and attempts at sociocultural reform during this period of enormous economic development, revolution, and war.

Orthodox Christianity and Gender: Dynamics of Tradition, Culture and Lived Practice (Routledge Studies in Religion)

The Orthodox Christian tradition has all too often been sidelined in conversations around contemporary religion. Despite being distinct from Protestantism and Catholicism in both theology and practice, it remains an underused setting for academic inquiry into current lived religious practice. This collection, therefore, seeks to redress this imbalance by investigating modern manifestations of Orthodox Christianity through an explicitly gender-sensitive gaze. By addressing attitudes to gender in this context, it fills major gaps in the literature on both religion and gender.Starting with the traditional teachings and discourses around gender in the Orthodox Church, the book moves on to demonstrate the diversity of responses to those narratives that can be found among Orthodox populations in Europe and North America. Using case studies from several countries, with both large and small Orthodox populations, contributors use an interdisciplinary approach to address how gender and religion interact in contexts such as, iconography, conversion, social activism and ecumenical relations, among others. From Greece and Russia to Finland and the USA, this volume sheds new light on the myriad ways in which gender is manifested, performed, and engaged within contemporary Orthodoxy. Furthermore, it also demonstrates that employing the analytical lens of gender enables new insights into Orthodox Christianity as a lived tradition. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of both Religious Studies and Gender Studies.

Representations of Slave Women in Discourses on Slavery and Abolition, 1780a??1838 (Routledge Studies in Slave and Post-slave Societies and Cultures Book 3)

This book analyzes textual representations of Jamaican slave women in three contexts--motherhood, intimate relationships, and work--in both pro- and antislavery writings. Altink examines how British abolitionists and pro-slavery activists represented the slave women to their audiences and explains not only the purposes that these representations served, but also their effects on slave women’s lives. 

Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South: The Politics of Domestic Violence Policy (Routledge ISS Gender, Sexuality and Development Studies)

The Open Access version of this book, available at https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351245623, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license. The fact that women have achieved higher levels of political inclusion within low- and middle-income countries has generated much speculation about whether this is reaping broader benefits in tackling gender-based inequalities. This book uncovers the multiple political dynamics that influence governments to adopt and implement gender equity policies, pushing the debate beyond simply the role of women’s inclusion in influencing policy. Bringing the politics of development into discussion with feminist literature on women's empowerment, the book proposes the new concept of ‘power domains’ as a way to capture how inter-elite bargaining, coalitional politics, and social movement activism combine to shape policies that promote gender equity.In particular, the book investigates the conditions under which countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have adopted legislation against domestic violence, which remains widespread in many developing countries. The book demonstrates that women’s presence in formal politics and policy spaces does not fully explain the pace in adopting and implementing domestic violence law. Underlying drivers of change within broader domains of power also include the role of clientelistic politics and informal processes of bargaining, coalition-building, and persuasion; the discursive framing of gender-equitable ideas; and how transnational norms influence women’s political inclusion and gender-inclusive policy outcomes. The comparative approach across Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, India, and Bangladesh demonstrates how advancing gender equality varies by political context and according to the interests surrounding a particular issue.Negotiating Gender Equity in the Global South will be of interest to students and scholars of gender and development, as well as to activists within governments, political parties, nongovernmental organizations, women’s movements, and donor agencies, at national and international levels, who are looking to develop effective strategies for advancing gender equality.

Engendering Climate Change: Learnings from South Asia

This book focuses on the gendered experiences of environmental change across different geographies and social contexts in South Asia and on diverse strategies of adapting to climate variability.The book analyzes how changes in rainfall patterns, floods, droughts, heatwaves and landslides affect those who are directly dependent on the agrarian economy. It examines the socio-economic pressures, including the increase in women’s work burdens both in production and reproduction on gender relations. It also examines coping mechanisms such as male migration and the formation of women’s collectives which create space for agency and change in rigid social relations. The volume looks at perspectives from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to present the nuances of gender relations across borders along with similarities and differences across geographical,socio-cultural and policy contexts.This book will be of interest to researchers and students of sociology, development, gender, economics, environmental studies and South Asian studies. It will also be useful for policymakers, NGOs and think tanks working in the areas of gender, climate change and development.