"The critics explore a range of texts that resist platitudes about any essential or universal 'female nature' and instead testify to many women's quite dissimilar efforts to multiply the ways in which we imagine ourselves, our families, and our values so we can engender fresh words for future lives in new worlds."—Susam Gasar, from the Foreword
This collection speaks to common themes and strategies in women’s writing about their different worlds, from Margaret Cavendish’s seventeenth-century Blazing World of the North Pole to the “men-less” islands of the French writer Scudery to the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century utopias of Shelley and Gaskell, and science fiction pulps, finishing with the more contemporary feminist fictions of Le Guin, Wittig, Piercy, and Michison. It shows that these fictions historically speak to each other and together amount to a literary tradition of women’s writing about a better place.
1. Introduction, Jane L. Donawerth and Carol A. Kolmerten
2. The Subject of Utopia: Margaret Cavendish and Her Blazing-World, Lee Cullen Khanna
3. Islands of Felicity: Women Seeing Utopia in Seventeenth-Century France, Ruth Carver Capasso
4. Mothers and Monsters in Sarah Robinson Scott's: Millenium Hall, Linda Dunne
5. Gaskell's Feminist Utopia: The Cranfordians and the Reign of Goodwill, Rae Rosenthal
6. Subjectivity as Feminist Utopia, Jean Pfaelzer
7. Texts and Contexts: American Women Ent1ision Utopia, 1890-1920, Carol A. Kolmerten
8. Consider Her Ways: The Cultural Work of Charlotte Perkins G1lman's Pragmatopian Stones, 1908-1913, Carol Farley Kessler
9. Science Fiction by Women in the Early Pulps, 1926-1930, Jane L. Donawerth
10. Difference and Sexual Politics in Naomi Mitchison's Solution Three, Sarah Lefanu
11. "There Goes the Neighborhood": Octavia Butler's Demand for Diversity in Utopias, Michelle Erica Green
12. The Frozen Landscape in Women's Utopian and Science Fiction, Naomi Jacobs
Jane L. Donawerth is associate professor of English at the University of Maryland and the author of Shakespeare and the Sixteenth-Century Study of Language.
Carol A. Kolmerten is professor of English at Hood College and the author of Women in Utopia and editor of the journal Utopus Discovered.
Series: Utopianism and Communitarianism
6 x 9, 280 pages