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Issue 2: Pushing Back: Feminist Readings as Resistance

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

Feminist literary criticism remains indispensable to literary studies at large. The recovery of individual women writers retains its urgency because our notions of a given period depend upon the fullest, most inclusive picture we can create. Similarly, explorations of texts and reevaluations of literary history that foreground gender continues to expose the gaps between the world we inhabit and the world we would like to inhabit. To that end, some of the most trenchant feminist critiques contemplate gender alongside other facets of identity, especially race and class, and alongside literary matters such as form, genre, and style.

When we devised the theme for this issue, "Pushing Back: Feminist Readings as Resistance," we hoped for submissions that would take up these concerns and that would challenge with surprising interpretations our pet notions and pat responses. Our authors delivered. Heather Braun contributes to the recuperation of Mary E. Coleridge by exploring polyvocality and the phenomenon of the female dopplegänger. Taking up a similar investment in the voice, Nicole Selvaggio employs linguistic theory and rhetoric in order to examine the interplay between Black Vernacular English and so-called "standard" English in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Brynn Gravitt reminds us that even when a writer has attained canonical status, a neglected text like Mary Shelley's Falkner provides rich opportunities. Sarah Thaller and Sandra Cox call attention to the power of popular fiction to subvert or to uphold patriarchal values. The critics in this issue write fiercely and with grace; as their efforts attest, the project of feminist literary criticism demands and deserve all the ingenuity we can muster.

I would like to thank our Associate Editors and our contributors, without whom we would have no issue. I would also like to thank Cactus May, our brilliant (and supremely patient) Web Consultant, and our faculty, especially Paul Jones and Sherrie Gradin, without whose support we would have no journal. I owe deep gratitude to Priya Gupta, our Managing Issue Content Editor, and to C. A. Knauss, our Editor in Chief extraordinaire, for their invaluable efforts.


Josh Davis
Managing Web Content Editor