Everyday Revolutions: Eighteenth-Century Women Transforming Public & Private

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1st Edition

240 x 160 mm. 288pp ... [In stock in Australia, for immediate delivery]

Women's everyday choices can engender revolutionary acts. This collection gathers essays that build upon this premise and go beyond the Habermassian public/private paradigm to examine the ways in which 18th-century women defied not only the restrictions their own culture sought to enforce, but also the restrictions our historical and literary understandings have created.

While recent studies have linked women to public activity by looking at revolutionary moments, such work often implies that those moments were just that: isolated moments within a framework of repression, containment, and silencing. These essays demonstrate how women of the period were not circumscribed to precious revolutionary moments but rather were participants in a web of acts, ranging in scale, that contributed to the emergence of a rich cultural dialogue still vibrant today.

These essays contest tenacious misconceptions about women's activities and abilities and revise a powerful account of the development and nature of the public and private spheres. The contributors show that 18th-century women's everyday lives challenged cultural expectations about the restrictions on the female role; women's everyday participation in activities like work and politics rejected notions about women's domesticity and privacy. Our recognition of women's everyday revolutionary behaviour revises the way we understand the history of the public sphere and of the separation of spheres. The public/private paradigm, despite its discursive power, did not operate in monolithic fashion but could be manipulated and inflected in various ways to allow for and empower many kinds of action and agency in public and in private.

This volume adds multidisciplinary nuance to current scholarly conversations about the range, scope, and limitations of the public/private dichotomy. Most books published on the public/private debate focus only on one part of cultural studies: the law, the family, women's or men's roles. This volume engages a variety of topics with analytic rigour to show that 18th-century women and men made choices to improve their families, their societies, and their lives. Because it accumulates nine essays about how 18th-century women lived, loved, and worked, it begins to show how 18th-century scholars have misused the public/private binary, and it suggests new ways to think about the work of literature in cultural formation and human possibility.

The collection is a testament to the possibility of stepping outside of hierarchy even in academia; it collects the essays of graduate students, young scholars, and established critics in 18th-century studies. These essays represent decades of adventures in thinking, teaching, and writing about the 18th century.

Diane E. Boyd is an Instructional Development Consultant and teaches English and Interdisciplinary First Year Seminars at Furman University. Marta Kvande is Assistant Professor of English at Valdosta State University.
^ Family & relationships ^


SKU 9780874130072
Barcode # 9780874130072
Brand AUP
Artist / Author Diane E. BOYD & Marta KVANDE (editors)

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