The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Critical Writing, and the Politics of Belonging (Hardback)
  • The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Critical Writing, and the Politics of Belonging (Hardback)
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The Social Life of Criticism: Gender, Critical Writing, and the Politics of Belonging (Hardback)

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£61.50
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 30/10/2016
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The Social Life of Criticism explores the cultural representation of thefemale critic in Victorian Britain, focusing especially on how womenwriters imagined themselves-in literary essays, periodical reviews, andeven works of fiction-as participants in complex networks of literaryexchange. Kimberly Stern proposes that in response to the "malecollectivity" prominently featured in critical writings, female criticsadopted a social and sociological understanding of the profession, oftenreimagining the professional networks and communities they were soeager to join.

This engaging study begins by looking at the eighteenth century, whencritical writing started to assume the institutional and generic structureswe associate with it today, and examines a series of case studies thatilluminate how women writers engaged with the forms of intellectualsociability that defined nineteenth-century criticism-including criticaldialogue, the club, the salon, and the publishing firm. In so doing, itclarifies the fascinating rhetorical and political debates surrounding thefigure of the female critic and charts how women writers worked bothwithin and against professional communities. Ultimately, Stern contendsthat gender was a formative influence on critical practice from the verybeginning, presenting the history of criticism as a history of genderpolitics.

While firmly grounded in literary studies, The Social Life of Criticismcombines an attention to historical context with a deep investment infeminist scholarship, social theory, and print culture. The book promisesto be of interest not only to professional academics and graduatestudents in nineteenth-century literature but also to scholars in a widerange of disciplines, including literature, intellectual history, culturalstudies, gender theory, and sociology.

Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472130078
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm

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