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Reading Feminist Theory

From Modernity to Postmodernity

Susan Archer Mann and Ashly Suzanne Patterson

Publication Date - 02 March 2015

ISBN: 9780199364985

592 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

The most comprehensive, current, and student-friendly feminist theory reader on the market


Reading Feminist Theory: From Modernity to Postmodernity interweaves classical and contemporary writings from the social sciences and the humanities to represent feminist thought from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Editors Susan Archer Mann and Ashly Suzanne Patterson pay close attention to the multiplicity and diversity of feminist voices, visions, and vantage points by race, class, gender, sexuality, and global location. Along with more conventional forms of theorizing, this anthology points to multiple sites of theory production--both inside and outside of the academy--and includes personal narratives, poems, short stories, zines, and even music lyrics. Offering a truly global perspective, the book devotes three chapters and more than thirty readings to the topics of colonialism, imperialism and globalization. It also provides extensive coverage of third-wave feminism, poststructuralism, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and transnational feminisms.

About the Author(s)

Susan Archer Mann is Professor of Sociology and Director of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of New Orleans. She is the author of Doing Feminist Theory: From Modernity to Postmodernity (OUP, 2012).

Ashly Suzanne Patterson is an instructor of Sociology and Feminist Thought at both Southeastern Louisiana University and Delgado Community College.


"Reading Feminist Theory is significantly different from many textbooks in feminist theory because it examines in detail how feminists have historically addressed systemic forms of oppression other than gender. This enables readers to see historically how these forms of oppression have been connected."--Cecilia Herles, University of Georgia

"The inclusion of Foucault, and of selections from economic, ecofeminist, political, and postcolonial writings, makes this work more up to date than the competition."--Kelly Pemberton, George Washington University

Table of Contents

    Using this Text to Navigate Feminist Thought
    Unique Features of this Anthology

    Chapter 1: Doing Feminist Theory
    How Feminists Do Theory and for Whom?
    Feminist Epistemologies
    Feminist Empiricism
    Standpoint Epistemologies
    Postmodern Epistemologies
    A Postcolonial Response to Western Feminist Epistemological Debates
    1. Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler, "Woman", "Feminists" and "Feminism" from The Feminist Dictionary (1985)
    2. bell hooks, "Theory as Liberatory Practice" from Teaching to Transgress (1994)
    3. Sandra Harding, "The Woman Question in Science to the Science Question in Feminism" (1986)
    4. Charlotte Bunch, "Not by Degrees: Feminist Theory and Education" (1979)
    5. Maria C. Lugones and Elizabeth V. Spelman, "Have We Got a Theory for You! Feminist Theory, Cultural Imperialism and the Demand for 'The Woman's Voice'" (1983)
    6. Jane Flax, "The End of Innocence" (1992)
    7. Uma Narayan, "The Project of Feminist Epistemology: Perspectives from a Nonwestern Feminist" (1989)


    Chapter 2: Liberal Feminisms
    The "Woman Question" and Enlightenment Thought
    The Rise of the U.S. Women's Movement in Early Modernity
    The Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments
    Liberal Feminists on Love, Marriage and Sex in Early Modernity
    First Wave Environmental Activism
    Winning Suffrage
    Advances and Setbacks between the Waves
    Liberal Feminisms in Late Modernity
    Liberal Psychoanalytic Feminisms
    8. Abigail and John Adams, Selected Letters from the Adams Family Correspondence (1776)
    9. Mary Wollstonecraft, "Introduction" to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)
    10. Sarah M. Grimke, from Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women (1838)
    11. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Declaration of Sentiments" from The History of Women's Suffrage (1848)
    12. Harriet Taylor Mill, "Enfranchisement of Women" (1851)
    13. John Stuart Mill, from The Subjection of Women (1870)
    14. Victoria Woodhull, "And the Truth Shall Make You Free": A Speech on the Principles of Social Freedom" (1871)
    15. Susan B. Anthony, Speech after Arrest for Illegal Voting (1872)
    16. Kate Chopin, "The Story of an Hour" (1894)
    17. "American Suffragettes" (1896)
    18. Jane Addams, "On Municipal Housekeeping" (1907)
    19. Virginia Woolf, "Shakespeare's Sister" from Chapters III and VI of A Room of One's Own (1929)
    20. Virginia Woolf, "A Room of One's Own" from Chapter I of A Room of One's Own (1929)
    21. Margaret Mead, "Sex and Temperament" from Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935)
    22. Betty Friedan, "The Problem That Has No Name" from The Feminine Mystique (1963)
    23. National Organization for Women, "1966 Statement of Purpose" (1966)
    24. Carol Gilligan, from In a Different Voice (1982)

    Chapter 3: Radical Feminisms
    The Dialectic of Sex
    Lesbianism, Feminist Separatism, and the Woman-Identified-Woman
    Mending the Gay/Straight Split in the Second Wave
    The "Sex Wars"
    Sex as a Realm of Pleasure
    Sex as a Realm of Danger
    Cultural and Spiritual Ecofeminisms
    A Radical Feminist Response to Queer Theory
    25. Gertrude Stein, from "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene" (1922)
    26. Joreen (Jo Freeman), from "The BITCH Manifesto" (1969)
    27. Redstockings, "Redstockings Manifesto" (1969).
    28. Shulamith Firestone, "Revolutionary Demands" from The Dialectic of Sex (1970)
    29. Radicalesbians, "The Woman Identified Woman" (1970)
    30. Charlotte Bunch, "Lesbians in Revolt" (1972)
    31. Robin Morgan, "Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape" (1974)
    32. Susan Griffin, "Use" from Woman and Nature: The Roaring inside Her (1978)
    33. Carol P. Christ, "Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Political Reflections" (1978)
    34. Anais Nin, "Mandra, II" from Little Birds: Erotica (1979)
    35. Adrienne Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" (1980)
    36. Gloria Steinem, "If Men Could Menstruate" (1983)
    37. Gayle Rubin, "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality" (1984)
    38. Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, "Model Anti-Pornography Civil Rights Ordinance" (1994)
    39. Suzanna Danuta Walters, "From Here to Queer: Feminism, Postmodernism, and the Lesbian Menace (Or, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Fag?)" (1996)

    Chapter 4: Marxist, Socialist and Anarchist Feminisms
    The Origins of Women's Oppression
    Women's Work in the Home
    Class Differences in Women's Lives and Work
    Love, Marriage, and Sexual Practices in Early Modernity
    Precursors to Ecofeminism in Early Modernity
    Marxist, Socialist, and Anarchist Feminisms between the Waves
    Women's Work in Late Modernity
    Feminist Existential Phenomenology
    Psychoanalytic Approaches of the Feminist New Left
    Socialist Feminist Standpoint Theories
    Marxist, Socialist and Anarchist Ecofeminisms
    40. Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus" (1883)
    41. Friedrich Engels, "Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" (1884)
    42. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, from The Yellow Wallpaper (1892)
    43. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, from Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relation between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution (1898)
    44. Mother (Mary) Jones, "Girl Slaves of the Milwaukee Breweries" (1910)
    45. Emma Goldman, "The Traffic in Women" from Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)
    46. James Oppenheim, "Bread and Roses" (1911)
    47. Rose Schneiderman, "We Have Found You Wanting" (1911)
    48. Alexandra Kollontai, "Working Woman and Mother" (1914)
    49. Crystal Eastman, "Now We Can Begin" from On Women and Revolution (1919)
    50. Margaret Sanger, "My Fight for Birth Control" (1920)
    51. Tillie Olsen, "I Want You Women up North to Know" (1934)
    52. Simone De Beauvoir, "The Married Woman" from The Second Sex (1949)
    53. Margaret Benston, "The Political Economy of Women's Liberation" (1969)
    54. Nancy Chodorow, "Gender Personality and the Reproduction of Mothering" from The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender (1978)
    55. Heidi I. Hartmann, "The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a More Progressive Union" (1979)
    56. Iris Marion Young, "Throwing Like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment, Motility, and Spaciality" (1980)
    57. Ynestra King, from "Feminism and the Revolt of Nature" (1981)
    58. Dorothy E. Smith, from The Everyday World as Problematic: A Feminist Sociology (1987)
    59. Nancy Hartsock, "Foucault on Power: A Theory for Women?" (1990)
    60. Donna Haraway, "The Cyborg Manifesto and Fractured Identities" from Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991)

    Chapter 5: Intersectionality Theories
    Precursors to Intersectional Analyses in Early Modernity
    Precursors to Intersectional Analyses between the Waves
    This Bridge Called My Back
    Simultaneous and Multiple Oppressions
    From Margin to Center
    Decentering and Difference
    U.S. Third World Feminism
    The Environmental Justice Movement
    Integrating Disability Studies with Intersectionality Theory
    61. Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree), "Ain't I a Woman?" (1851)
    62. Harriet Jacobs, from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
    63. Frederick Douglass, "On Woman Suffrage" (1888)
    64. Anna Julia Cooper, "Woman versus the Indian" from A Voice from the South (1892)
    65. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, "Lynch Law in America" (1900)
    66. Zora Neale Hurston, "Sweat" (1926)
    67. Maya Angelou, from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)
    68. Combahee River Collective, "A Black Feminist Statement" (1977)
    69. Mitsuye Yamada, "Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian American Woman" (1981)
    70. Chrystos, "I Walk in the History of My People" (1981)
    71. Alice Walker, "Womanist" from In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983)
    72. Audre Lorde, "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" from Sister/Outsider (1984)
    73. Gloria Anzaldua, from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)
    74. Kimberle Crenshaw, "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics" (1989)
    75. Patricia Hill Collins, from Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990)
    76. Chela Sandoval, "U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Differential Oppositional Consciousness" (1991)
    77. Angela Y. Davis, "Outcast Mothers and Surrogates: Racism and Reproductive Politics in the Nineties" (1993)
    78. Andy Smith, "Ecofeminism through an Anticolonial Framework" (1997)
    79. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, "Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory" (2001)


    Chapter 6: Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, Queer, and Transgender Theories
    Challenging Modern Thought
    Major Assumptions of Postmodernism and Poststructuralism
    Tensions between Foucault and Feminism
    Power and Discourse
    Modern Techniques of Power
    Sex, Sexuality and Deconstructing the "Natural"
    Queer Theory
    Transgender Theory
    80. Michel Foucault, "Method" Chapter 2 from The History of Sexuality, Volume I: An Introduction (1976)
    81. Sandra Lee Bartky, "Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power" (1988)
    82. Judith Butler, "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" (1991)
    83. Susan Bordo, "The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity" (1993)
    84. Kate Bornstein, from Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us (1994)
    85. Judith Halberstam, "An Introduction to Female Masculinity" from Female Masculinity (1998)
    86. Anne Fausto-Sterling, "Should There Be Only Two Sexes?" from Sexing the Body (2000)
    87. Riki Wilchins, "A Certain Kind of Freedom: Power and the Truth of Bodies" from Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary (2002)
    88. Judith Halberstam, "Queer Temporality and Postmodern Geographies" from In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005)
    89. Julia Serano, "Trans Woman Manifesto" (2009)

    Chapter 7: Third Wave Feminisms
    Historically Grounding the Third Wave
    Tracing the Third Wave's Lineage to Intersectionality Theory
    Tracing the Third Wave's Lineage to Poststructuralism and Queer Theory
    Third Wave Theory Applications
    Solitary Sisterhood?
    90. Bikini Kill Zine Cover (circa 1991)
    91. Rebecca Walker, "Being Real: An Introduction" from To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism (1995)
    92. Susan Jane Gilman, "Klaus Barbie, and Other Barbie Dolls I'd Like to See" from Adiós, Barbie (1998)
    93. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, "A Day without Feminism" from Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000)
    94. Cathryn Bailey, "Unpacking the Mother/Daughter Baggage: Reassessing Second- and Third-Wave Tensions" (2002)
    95. Bushra Rehman and Daisy Hernández, "Introduction" from Colonize This!: Young Women of Color in Today's Feminism (2002)
    96. Julie Bettie, from Women without Class: Girls, Race and Identity (2003)
    97. Leslie Heywood and Jennifer Drake, "'It's all about the Benjamins': Economic Determinants of Third Wave Feminism in the United States" (2004)
    98. Astrid Henry, "Solitary Sisterhood: Individualism Meets Collectivity in Feminism's Third Wave" (2005)

    Conceptualizing Imperialism and Colonialism

    Chapter 8: Feminism and Imperialism in Early Modernity
    U.S. Western Expansion and the "Woman Question"
    U.S. Overseas Expansion and the "Woman Question"
    Rosa Luxemburg on Imperialism and the "Woman Question"
    Anti-War Writings between the Waves
    99. Henry David Thoreau, "Civil Disobedience" (1849)
    100. Julia Ward Howe, "Mother's Day Proclamation" (1870)
    101. Matilda Joselyn Gage, "Indian Citizenship" (1878)
    102. Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, from The Squatter and the Don (1885)
    103. Tekahionwake (Emily Pauline Johnson), "A Cry from an Indian Wife" (1885)
    104. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "On Educated Suffrage" (1897)
    105. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Petition for the Women of Hawaii" (1889) and Samuel Gompers's Reply on Behalf of the American Federation of Labor (1899)
    106. Emma Goldman, from "Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty" (1911)
    107. Rosa Luxemburg, "Militarism as a Province of Accumulation" from Chapter 32 of The Accumulation of Capital (1913)
    108. The International Congress of Women, "Resolutions Adopted" (1915)
    109. Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin), from American Indian Stories (1921)
    110. Waheenee (Buffalo Bird Woman), from An Indian Girl's Story Told by Herself to Gilbert L. Wilson (1921)
    111. Virginia Woolf, from Three Guineas (1938)

    Chapter 9: Feminism and Imperialism in Late Modernity
    The Anti-Vietnam War Movement
    Modernization Theory and Dependency Theory
    Liberal Feminisms Inspired by Modernization Theory
    Feminisms Inspired by Dependency Theory
    Radical Feminist Global Analyses
    Global Feminist Analyses Inspired by Rosa Luxemburg's Work
    Feminism and the Military
    112. Irene Tinker, "The Adverse Impact of Development on Women" (1976)
    113. Mary Daly, from Gyn/Ecology: The MetaEthics of Radical Feminism (1978)
    114. Barbara Ehrenreich and Annette Fuentes, "Life on the Global Assembly Line" (1981)
    115.Off Our Backs Cover (1983)
    116. Robin Morgan, "Introduction, Planetary Feminism: The Politics of the 21st Century" from Sisterhood is Global: The International Women's Movement Anthology (1984)
    117. Minerva Salado, "Report from Vietnam for International Women's Day" (1985)
    118. June Jordan, "Report from the Bahamas" (1985)
    119. Maria Mies, from Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour (1986)
    120. Vandana Shiva, "Development, Ecology and Women" from Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development (1989)
    121. Grace Chang, "The Global Trade in Filipina Workers" from Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire (1997)
    122. Cynthia Enloe, "Wielding Masculinity inside Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo: The Globalized Dynamics" (2007)

    Chapter 10: Feminism and Imperialism in Postmodernity
    Postcolonial and Transnational Feminisms
    Decolonizing Feminist Thought
    Can the Subaltern Speak?
    Diasporas and the Gender Politics of Postcolonial Space
    Feminism and Religious Fundamentalisms
    Queering Global Analyses
    Transnational Feminist Organizing
    123. Edward W. Said, from Orientalism (1978)
    124. Chandra Talpade Mohanty, "Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses" (1984)
    125. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (1985)
    126. Trinh T. Minh-ha, "Infinite Layers/Third World?" (1989)
    127. Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, "Postmodernism and Transnational Feminist Practices" from Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (1994)
    128. Fourth World Conference on Women, "Beijing Declaration" (1995)
    129. Uma Narayan, "Introduction" to Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism (1997)
    130. Greta Gaard, "Erotophobia and the Colonization of Queer(s)/Nature" (1997)
    131. Ella Shohat, "After the Metanarratives of Liberation" from Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age (2001)
    132. Lila Abu-Lughod, "Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and its Others" (2002)
    133. Alison Symington, "From Tragedy and Injustice to Rights and Empowerment: Accountability in the Economic Realm" (2005)
    134. Jyotsna Agnihotri Gupta, "Towards Transnational Feminisms" (2006)
    135. Skye Brannon, "Fireweed" (2009)



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