In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

The Career and Work of Madelyn Gutwirth I 3 always in flux; she understands culture as a process of displacement and compensation. Examining literary, political, and visual representations in relation to social history, Gutwirth dispels the long-held myth that eighteenthcentury France was a woman's paradise. For example, the market women's march on Paris, which led to an assault on the queen, reveals a female misogyny meant to express solidarity with men through a demonstration of national loyalty and feminine purity. Gutwirth thus demonstrates how dominant behaviors and discourses pitted women against one another. In more recent work on Beaumarchais 's Figaro trilogy, as Carol Blum points out, Gutwirth explores a variety of themes through the figure of the foundling. These include ambivalent attitudes in late eighteenth-century France toward sexuality, women's role in family life, familial vs. public investments in the child, and individual freedom as emblematized by the illegitimate child's right to be integrated into society. This issue of integration leads to one of the questions Gutwirth, in her closing essay, asks us to ponder. To what extent, in the last thirty years, has feminist scholarship been successfully integrated into academic society? The overt resistance Gutwirth faced in graduate school and the more genteel resistance of ASECS to feminist questioning prior to the founding of the Women's Caucus are, by and large, behind us. Yet despite the vast productivity of feminist scholars since the 1970s, Gutwirth reminds us that we are in the midst of a backlash that we must resist. She challenges us to develop more adequate frameworks, through cross-national and cross-disciplinary collaborations, in order to extend the racial and gender analyses we have already developed in eighteenth-century studies. OVERVIEW OF THE CAREER OF MADELYN GUTWIRTH JANET WHATLEY People who are relatively new to the profession may not realize just how different eighteenth-century studies today are from what they were in the 1950s and 60s. The texts we now teach in readily available editions, including Lettres de Mistriss Henley, Lettres d'une Péruvienne, or Ourika, were not considered part of the curriculum a generation ago. Madelyn Gutwirth's work brought into intellectual discourse not only women writers of the eighteenth century but also the realities of women's lives: childhoods in poverty or wealth, adolescence, virginity, marriage, 4 / WHATLEY pregnancies desired or undesired, breastfeeding, aging. Such themes, now to be found in abundance as subjects of dissertations, of scholarly books and articles, were all but unthinkable when Madelyn was beginning her work. Gutwirth received her B. A. in 1948 from Brooklyn College, and her Ph. D. in 1958 from Bryn Mawr College, where she studied with Margaret Gilman, Jacques van den Heuvel, Ted Morris, and Germaine Brée. Her teaching career includes appointments at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School. She has been a full professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, during which time she produced much of the rich body of work that we now recognize as indispensable. With Marcel Gutwirth and John Spielman she published a textbook of cultural documents that I still reach for frequently: Sources et reflets de l'histoire de France.^ She wrote many articles and papers on Germaine de Staël, but also published on Rousseau, Isabelle de Charrière, Laclos, Don Juan, The Magic Flute, the theatre of Marie-Joseph Chenier, and the rhetoric of Revolutionary hymns. She cast a wide net over the literature and culture of the late eighteenth century, with Staël as her anchor; her book Madame de Staël, Novelist: The Emergence of theArtist as Woman, appeared in 1978.' Madelyn was producing all this work not in a research university; she was teaching, year in and year out, eight courses a year, including everything from elementary and intermediate French to Marivaux, Giraudoux, Sartre and Camus. Meanwhile, she was serving the profession as President of the Northeast Modem Language Association, chairing the Modern Language Association (MLA) Commission on the Status of Women, and working on the MLA committee on Academic Freedom. In 1986 she organized and chaired the French Eighteenth-Century Literature meeting, one that some of us remember vividly...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1938-6133
Print ISSN
0360-2370
Pages
pp. 3-5
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.