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For more than a decade Judith Newton has been at the forefront of defining and promoting materialist feminist criticism. Starting Over brings together a selection of her essays that chart the establishment of feminist literary criticism in the academy and its relation to other forms of cultural criticism, including Marxist, post-Marxist, new historicist, and cultural materialist approaches, as well as cultural studies.
The essays in Starting Over have functioned as exemplars of interdisciplinary thinking, mapping out the ways in which reading strategies and the constructions of history, culture, identity, change, and agency in various materialist theories overlap, and the ways in which feminist-materialist work both draws upon, revises, and complicates the vision of nonfeminist materialist critiques. They are shaped by an awareness that public knowledge is always informed by the so-called private realm of familial and sexual relations and that cultural criticism must bring together investigations of daily behaviors, economic and social relations, and the dynamics of race, class, gender, and sexual struggle.
Starting Over is a brilliant synthesis of literature, history, anthropology, the many influential trends in contemporary theory, and the politics of feminism.
Toward a Materialist-Feminist Criticism
With Deborah Rosenfelt 1
History as Usual? Feminism and the New Historicism 27
Family Fortunes: History and Literature in Materialist-Feminist Work 59
Historicisms New and Old: "Charles Dickens" Meets Marxism, Feminism, and West Coast Foucault 79
Sex and Political Economy in the Edinburgh Review 97
"Ministers of the Interior": The Political Economy of Women's Manuals 125
Learning Not to Curse; or, Feminist Predicaments in Cultural Criticism by Men: Our Movie Date with James Clifford and Stephen Greenblatt
With Judith Stacey 149
Starting Over: An Afterword 177
Works Cited 195