History and Space in
Contemporary North American Women's Fictions

Feminisms in the 60's and Women's Fictions Since Then: Major Issues

I. Background

  1. Social Background (1)-- Radical Changes in the 60's
  2. Social Background (2) -- the Women's Movement --mostly radical feminist activists then.
  3. Literary Development: the rise of postmodern fiction
  4. Development of Feminist literature (& the conflicts between Feminism and Postmodernism)
II. Major Concerns in Contemporary North American feminist fictions:
  1. Stylistically there is a wide range of metafictional traits, from thematic challenges of temporal or human boundaries to the formally experimental ones.
  2. Celebration of women's identities and the importance of the private sphere
  3. Women and Politics e.g. Joan Didion Democracy; Bobbie Ann Mason In Country
  4. Critiquing patriarchy: its gender relations (sexual politics), construction of femininity, etc.
  5. Gender inequality + racial/class inequality
  6. Time and Space: Women's community set in a certain place and at a certain historical period.
  7. All of the above ideas can be expressed through strategies of duality such as irony, magic realism, fantasies, ambivalence, mixing genres, intertextuality, etc.

Bartkowski, Frances.  Feminist Utopias.   Lincoln, Nebraska: U of Nebraska P, 1989.
Hutcheon, Linda.  A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. New York: 1988.
Marshall, Brenda K.  Teaching the Postmodern: Fiction and Theory.  NY: Routledge, 1992.
Waugh, Patricia. Feminine Fictions: Revisiting the Postmodern. New York: Routledge, 1989.¡@