NWSA Journal

NWSA Journal 14.2, Summer 2002



    Foley, Brenda.
  • Naked Politics: Erie, PA v the Kandyland Club
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    Subject Headings:
    • Erie (Pa.) -- Trials, litigation, etc.
    • Kandyland Club -- Trials, litigation, etc.
    • Nudity in dance -- Law and legislation -- Pennsylvania -- Erie.
    • Body image in women -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Pennsylvania -- Erie.
      The recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Erie, Pennsylvania against the Kandyland Club, which upheld a city ordinance prohibiting the club's dancers from performing in the nude, exemplifies what Kathy Davis has defined as "society's impulse to keep women's bodies under 'constant surveillance'" (1997, 11). The case illustrates complex, often contradictory, assessments of the empirical and metaphoric significance of the female body, specifically as it is presented on stage, and also raises issues of sexual control, of the distinctions between speech and conduct, and of a seemingly deliberate judicial misreading of the expressive elements of exotic dancing. Naked Politics argues that the Kandyland case is a particularly blatant incident in a long history of patriarchal efforts to regulate the theatrical display of women's bodies, and that the Court's ruling reveals its allegiance to a presumptive "moral" code more sacred (to itself) than the Constitutional protections it is sworn to uphold.
      exotic dancing / judicial misreading / surveillance
    Wiegman, Robyn.
  • Academic Feminism Against Itself
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    Subject Headings:
    • Women's studies -- Political aspects.
    • Feminism and higher education -- United States.
      This article focuses on the often-lamented distinction between Women's Studies as an academic entity and feminism as a social movement. Whereas many feminist scholars urge us to return to social movement to counter the forces of institutionalization, I question the assumption that the political future of Women's Studies as a field can be guaranteed by repairing the distinction between academic institutionalization and feminism as a world changing social force. Indeed, I worry more about the implications for Women's Studies of refusing altogether the distinction between the academy and activism than about the difficulty of repairing the distinction between them.
      academic feminism / activism / institutionalization / theory
    Dockray-Miller, Mary, 1965-
  • The Maternal Performance of the Virgin Mary in the Old English Advent
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    Subject Headings:
    • Advent (Anglo-Saxon poem)
    • Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint -- Motherhood.
    • Motherhood -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.
      Throughout the Christian era, literary and artistic representations of the Virgin Mary have been manipulated by a variety of ideologies, religious or political, to define the appropriate positioning and agency of the feminine in a culture. The culture of Anglo-Saxon England, like most others, almost always presented Mary in positive terms, celebrating her for humility, purity, and passivity. In the Advent Lyrics of the Exeter Book, however, Mary's ideal and idealized femininity does occasionally reveal its precarious underpinnings in metaphor and in its need to disempower the Mother. Analysis of the metaphors and diction that refer to Mary, especially in lyric nine, reveals her as a necessarily female, maternally embodied, active subject in spite of the text's traditional figurative language. This reading as well permits twenty-first-century scholars to expand our understanding of the possible audiences of the poem to include professed religious women associated with Exeter Cathedral.
      Advent Lyrics / Anglo-Saxon poetry / Anglo-Saxon religious history / Christ I / Exeter Book / Marian devotion / Virgin Mary / Women's Christian spirituality
    Cocca, Carolyn E.
  • From "Welfare Queen" to "Exploited Teen": Welfare Dependency, Statutory Rape, and Moral Panic
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maternal and infant welfare -- United States.
    • Teenage pregnancy -- Social aspects -- United States.
    • Statutory rape -- Social aspects -- United States.
      In recent years, adolescent sexuality and statutory rape have been constructed as leading inexorably to teen pregnancy and welfare dependency—manipulative older males impregnate young vulnerable females, who then give birth and apply for public assistance. While these connections are tenuous at best, millions of dollars have been allocated by the federal government and some state governments to step up statutory rape prosecutions. Such prosecutions are touted by policymakers as a means to protect young mothers, even as they have otherwise reduced financial and other supports to those same women. To explore this policy initiative from its conception through its implementation, I examine the discourses surrounding the federal welfare reform bill in 1996, and undertake a case study of one state which has greatly increased its statutory rape prosecutions as a means of decreasing its public assistance costs. I argue that conflating adolescent sexuality with non-marital reproduction and with poverty, as both an economic and moral affront to "traditional" American sensibilities, furthers a conservative agenda vis-à-vis gender, race, class, and sexuality. Further, the focus on, and panic over, the simplified and divisive moral undermines discussion and action on broader economic, political, social, and cultural inequalities.
      gender / moral panic / sexuality / statutory rape / teen pregnancy / welfare
    McLeer, Anne.
  • Practical Perfection? The Nanny Negotiates Gender, Class, and Family Contradictions in 1960s Popular Culture
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stevenson, Robert, 1905-1986, dir. Mary Poppins (Motion picture)
    • Wise, Robert, 1914, dir. Sound of music (Motion picture)
    • Motherhood in motion pictures.
    • Masculinity in motion pictures.
    • Popular culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
      This essay examines the popular 1960s films Mary Poppins (Stevenson 1964) and The Sound of Music (Wise 1965) which, despite their foreign settings and stars and their historical timeframes, are seen in the light of their relevance to social and political concerns of the United States in the 1960s. The films set about addressing anxieties surrounding masculinity, motherhood, domestic gender roles, and the constitution of the family that were current at the time. The films are seen as a response to the burgeoning women's movement of the mid-1960s and rising levels of recognition of women's changing place in society, as well as what was considered men's loosening grip on patriarchal power in the family. In both films, the character of the nanny, a threshold figure and family interloper, is the person responsible for reinstalling the father, whose domestic role as head of the intact, patriotic family was thought to be in jeopardy, by ensuring that his familial relations are modernized.
      children / class / fatherhood / film musicals / masculinity / motherhood / nationalism / popular / postwar / psychology

Women Recollected

    Bauer, Denise.
  • Alice Neel's Portraits of Mother Work
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    Subject Headings:
    • Neel, Alice, 1900- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Mothers in art.
    • Feminism and art -- United States.
      The American painter Alice Neel (1900-1984), who is best known for her riveting portraits of public figures, also created a rich and remarkable range of images of mother work from the late 1920s to the early 1980s. Transgressing, parodying, and critiquing the Madonna and child genre and the social construct of mother as it shifted over most of the twentieth century, Neel consistently made the experiences of mothers, the interrelationship of mother and child, and familial relationships the subjects of her work. These images of mother work also included class and race analyses of mothering and family. They included a degenerate Madonna, macabre surrealistic images of babies, her daughter-in-law as a first-time mother anxiously holding her squirming infant, a breastfeeding Haitian mother and her disabled child, many intimate portraits of Neel's own children and grandchildren, families from her neighborhood in New York's El Barrio and from the primarily white art world.
      feminist art / feminist images / mothers and children / mother work / Neel, Alice / portraits / twentieth-century art
    Morse, Jane Fowler.
  • Ignored But Not Forgotten: The Work of Helen Bradford Thompson Woolley
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    Subject Headings:
    • Woolley, Helen Thompson, b. 1874.
    • Women psychologists -- United States -- Biography.
    • Early childhood education -- United States.
      Helen Bradford Thompson, later Woolley, published The Mental Traits of Sex in 1903, in which she proved that women's intelligence did not differ from men's. Investigating aspects of mental functioning, Thompson concluded that men's and women's intelligence was similar and that upbringing accounted for small differences, rather than biology. Woolley investigated differences in school children and working children, and showed that leaving school to go to work did not benefit children. This finding contributed to the passage of child labor laws. Woolley also worked in early childhood education, special education, and vocational guidance. Despite these accomplishments, Woolley never held a tenure-track position and was fired early in the Depression. The author of three books and approximately fifty articles, she was unsuccessful in obtaining another position. This author ponders the difficulties that women academics encountered early in the twentieth century. Woolley was a pioneer, breaking ground for women in academe today.
      child labor laws / child psychology / childhood education / higher education for women / psychology / sex-role stereotyping / vocational guidance / women academics / women's intelligence / women scientists


    Meyer, Bente.
  • Women's Time, Women's Space: Reflections on the International Network of Women's Studies Journals Workshop, September 6-12, 2001
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    Subject Headings:
    • International Network of Women's Studies Journals Workshop (2001: Halifax, N.S.)
    • Women's studies -- Periodicals -- Congresses.
    • Women -- Social networks.
      This article reflects on how globalization affects and transforms the issues of writing relevant to feminist journals. Taking its point of departure in a recent international women's studies journals workshop, the article examines the issues of feminist journal writing and publishing from two perspectives: the global perspective of networking, and the local, Nordic perspective of feminist politics and writing belonging to the author. Using Julia Kristeva's idea of feminist generations as signifying spaces for the understanding of "woman," the article argues that the regenerative power of Women's Studies and feminist writing will arise from the diversity and inclusiveness of the women's movement itself. In the global context of feminist networking the generational differences in terms of e.g., the struggle for political rights or for academic recognition will be negotiated and brought to coexist. In this process journal writing can play a central part if it opens up to the diversity of creative, activist and academic writing.
      feminist generations / globalization / Nordic feminism / women and writing / women's studies journals
    Aftab, Tahera.
  • Lobbying for Transnational Feminism: Feminist Conversations Make Connections
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    Subject Headings:
    • International Network of Women's Studies Journals Workshop (2001: Halifax, N.S.)
    • Women's studies -- Periodicals -- Congresses.
      The last fifty years have been a time of women's prolific academic writing and publishing. Women's publishing houses grew in numbers, as did an emergence of new Women's Studies and feminist journals. This article, based on the discussions held at the first meeting of the International Network of Women's Studies Journals, focuses on several challenges to the future of feminist journals and to feminism itself.
      academic activism / feminism / feminist journals / transnational feminism / Women's Studies


    Morris, Bonnie J., 1961-
  • When I Was a Teenage E.R.A. Activist
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    Subject Headings:
    • Morris, Bonnie J., 1961- -- Political activity.
    • Equal rights amendments -- United States.
    • Women's rights -- United States.
      This political memoir describes the author's 1979 summer job, at age eighteen, going door-to-door for the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.). Critical attention is paid to the difficulties experienced in "the field"—fundraising expectations, canvassing assignments in remote or right-wing suburbs, and the often hostile responses from householders unexpectedly presented with feminist petitions on their own doorsteps. How did false rumors about the E.R.A. create a backlash among Americans? Wry nostalgia aside, are historians and students of feminism in danger of forgetting this unique period of political activism?
      canvassing / Equal Rights Amendment / equality / E.R.A. / feminist activism / memoir / NWPC

Review Essays

    Fischer, Craig.
  • Why Feminist Film Theory?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Thornham, Sue, ed. Feminist film theory: a reader.
    • White, Patricia, 1964- Uninvited: classical Hollywood cinema and lesbian representability.
    • Kuzniar, Alice A. Queer German cinema.
    • Elder, Kathryn, ed. Films of Joyce Wieland.
    • Coombs, Felicity. Piano lessons: approaches to the piano.
    • Gemmell, Suzanne.
    • Feminism and motion pictures.
    • Lesbianism in motion pictures.
    Barbour, Sarah.
  • Diverse Patterns of Relationalities: Expanding Theories of Women's Personal Narratives
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    Subject Headings:
    • Snell, Alma Hogan. Grandmother's grandchild: my Crow Indian life.
    • Matthews, Becky, ed.
    • Walker, Melissa, 1962- All we knew was to farm: rural women in the upcountry South, 1919-1941.
    • Rothenberg, Paula S., 1943- Invisible privilege: a memoir about race, class, and gender.
    • Parker, Idella. Idella Parker: from Reddick to Cross Creek.
    • Crussell, Bud.
    • Crussell, Liz.
    • Miller, Nancy K., 1941- Bequest and betrayal: memoirs of a parent's death.
    • Snell, Alma Hogan.
    • Women farmers -- Appalachian Region.

Book Reviews

    Howard, Judith A.
  • Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories, and: Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Code, Lorraine, ed. Encyclopedia of feminist theories.
    • Kramarae, Cheris, ed. Routledge international encyclopedia of women: global women's issues and knowledge.
    • Spender, Dale, ed.
    • Feminist theory -- Encyclopedias.
    • Women -- Encyclopedias.
    Stamm, B. Hudnall, 1958-
  • Women, Science and Society: The Crucial Union, and: Women Becoming Mathematicians: Creating a Professional Identity in Post-World War II America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rosser, Sue Vilhauer. Women, science and society: the crucial union.
    • Murray, Margaret Anne Marie. Women becoming mathematicians: creating a professional identity in post-World War II America.
    • Women life scientists.
    • Women mathematicians -- United States.
    McCandless, Amy Thompson, 1946-
  • European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Offen, Karen M. European feminisms, 1700-1950: a political history.
    • Feminism -- Europe -- History.
    Flying Clouds.
  • Listening to Our Grandmothers' Stories: The Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cobb, Amanda J., 1970- Listening to our grandmothers' stories: the Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females, 1852-1949.
    • Bloomfield Academy for Chickasaw Females -- History.
    Rodriguez Kessler, Elizabeth.
  • Colonial Angels: Narratives of Gender and Spirituality in Mexico, 1580-1750, and: Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World, and: A Wild Country Out in the Garden: The Spiritual Journals of a Colonial Mexican Nun (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Tudela, Elisa Sampson Vera. Colonial angels: narratives of gender and spirituality in Mexico, 1580-1750.
    • Giles, Mary E., ed. Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World.
    • María de San José, madre, 1656-1719. Wild country out in the garden: the spiritual journals of a colonial Mexican nun.
    • Myers, Kathleen Ann, ed.
    • Powell, Amanda, ed.
    • Mexican prose literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
    • Inquisition -- Spain.
    Cognard-Black, Jennifer.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune: Building a Better World, and: Breaking the Ice: The Story of Mary Ann Shadd (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955. Mary McLeod Bethune: building a better world.
    • McCluskey, Audrey T., ed.
    • Smith, Elaine M., 1942-, ed.
    • Sweeney, Sylvia, dir. Breaking the ice: the story of Mary Ann Shadd [video]
    • Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955.
    • Cary, Mary Ann Shadd, 1823-1893 -- Drama.
    Hyatt, Eva.
  • Prom Night: Youth, Schools, and Popular Culture, and: Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?: American Women and the Kitchen in the Twentieth Century, and: The Gender and Consumer Culture Reader (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Best, Amy L., 1970- Prom night: youth, schools, and popular culture.
    • McFeely, Mary Drake. Can she bake a cherry pie?: American women and the kitchen in the twentieth century.
    • Scanlon, Jennifer, 1958-, ed. Gender and consumer culture reader.
    • Proms -- Social aspects -- United States.
    • Women cooks -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Raymond, Diane Christine, 1949-
  • Slaves on Screen: Film and Historical Vision (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Davis, Natalie Zemon, 1928- Slaves on screen: film and historical vision.
    • Slavery in motion pictures.
    Jones, Daintee Glover.
  • Edith Wharton's Dialogue with Realism and Sentimental Fiction, and: Mothers and Daughters in the Twentieth Century: A Literary Anthology, and: Is it Really Mommie Dearest? Daughter-Mother Narratives in Young Adult Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hoeller, Hildegard, 1960- Edith Wharton's dialogue with realism and sentimental fiction.
    • Ingman, Heather, 1953- Mothers and daughters in the twentieth century: a literary anthology.
    • Crew, Hilary S., 1942- Is it really Mommie Dearest? daughter-mother narratives in young adult fiction.
    • Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Mothers and daughters.
    Hirschmann, Nancy J.
  • Living Between Danger and Love: The Limits of Choice (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jones, Kathleen B., 1949- Living between danger and love: the limits of choice.
    • Family violence -- United States.
    Derry, Robbin.
  • Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It, and: Not Guilty! The Good News for Working Mothers, and: Mother Troubles: Rethinking Contemporary Maternal Dilemmas (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Williams, Joan, 1952- Unbending gender: why family and work conflict and what to do about it.
    • Holcomb, Betty. Not guilty! the good news for working mothers.
    • Hanigsberg, Julia E., ed. Mother troubles: rethinking contemporary maternal dilemmas.
    • Ruddick, Sara, 1935-, ed.
    • Work and family -- United States.
    • Working mothers -- United States.
    Petschauer, Peter, 1939-
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and dimed: on (not) getting by in America.
    • Minimum wage -- United States.
    Chauhan, Richa.
  • The Female Circumcision Controversy: An Anthropological Perspective, and: Female Genital Mutilation: A Guide to Laws and Policies Worldwide (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gruenbaum, Ellen. Female circumcision controversy: an anthropological perspective.
    • Rahman, Anika, ed. Female genital mutilation: a guide to laws and policies worldwide.
    • Toubia, Nahid, ed.
    • Female circumcision.
    • Female circumcision -- Law and legislation -- Criminal provisions.
    Holliday, Laura Scott.
  • Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age, and: Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial, and Feminist World, and: Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and the State (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shohat, Ella, 1959-, ed. Talking visions: multicultural feminism in a transnational age.
    • Narayan, Uma, ed. Decentering the center: philosophy for a multicultural, postcolonial, and feminist world.
    • Harding, Sandra, ed.
    • Kaplan, Caren, 1955-, ed. Between woman and nation: nationalisms, transnational feminisms, and the state.
    • Alarcón, Norma, ed.
    • Moallem, Minoo, ed.
    • Feminism and the arts.
    • Feminist theory.
    Skidmore-Hess, Cathy.
  • We Women Worked So Hard: Gender, Urbanization and Social Reproduction in Colonial Harare, Zimbabwe, 1930-1956, and: We Come Here Only to Struggle, and: Second Face: Berida's Lives, and: Gender Violence in Africa: African Women's Responses, and: Women and Politics in Uganda (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Barnes, Terri. We women worked so hard: gender, urbanization and social reproduction in colonial Harare, Zimbabwe, 1930-1956.
    • Ndambuki, Berida, 1936- We only come here to struggle.
    • Robertson, Claire C., 1944-
    • Robertson, Claire C., 1944-, dir. Second face: Berida's lives [video]
    • Green, December. Gender violence in Africa: African women's responses.
    • Tripp, Aili Mari. Women and politics in Uganda.
    • Women -- Zimbabwe -- Harare -- History -- 20th century.
    • Ndambuki, Berida, 1936-

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