The Dynamics of Gender in Early Modern France
Women Writ, Women Writing
Domna Stanton‘s latest book The Dynamics of Gender in Early Modern France: Women Writ, Women Writing (Ashgate, 2014) is a series of six case studies with important literary, historical, and theoretical implications for how we think about gender in the seventeenth century and beyond. In two parts, the first focused on male and the second focused on female writers in this period, the book examines critically key works by Racine, FÃ©nelon, Poulain de la Barre, La Guette, La Fayette and SÃ©vignÃ©. In close readings that situate authors and texts within a broader historical context, Stanton examines gender as a dynamic, relational construct across multiple genres, including drama in its comic and tragic forms, letters, treatise, novella, and memoir. Departing from the premise that the querelle des femmes must also be understood as a querelle des hommes, The Dynamics of Gender is concerned throughout with women and men, femininity and masculinity, writers and the written-about.
Drawing on and engaging with the critical theoretical work and insights of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, The Dynamics of Gender makes a significant contribution to our understanding of how gender and power work and shift in and across texts and time. This is a book about bodies and/of writing that pursues important questions about what it meant to write as men and women historically, and about what “reading-as-a-feminist” might mean into the present and future.