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Women and Race in Early Modern Texts

Women and Race in Early Modern Texts

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Joyce Green MacDonald
Cambridge University Press, 30/05/2002
EAN 9780521810166, ISBN10: 0521810167

Hardcover, 198 pages, 23.2 x 16 x 2 cm

Joyce Green MacDonald discusses the links between women’s racial, sexual, and civic identities in early modern texts. She examines the scarcity of African women in English plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the racial identity of the women in the drama and also that of the women who watched and sometimes wrote the plays. The coverage also includes texts from the late fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, by, among others, Shakespeare, Jonson, Davenant, the Countess of Pembroke, and Aphra Behn. MacDonald articulates many of her discussions of early modern women’s races through a comparative method, using insights drawn from critical race theory, women’s history, and contemporary disputes over canonicity, multiculturalism, and Afrocentrism. Seeing women as identified by their race and social standing as well as by their sex, this book will add depth and dimension to discussions of women’s writing and of gender in Renaissance literature.

"This elegant, innovative book fulfills and extends the promise of early modern race studies of the past decade." Renaissance Quarterly

"Her discussion of early women writers ... contributes valuably to other recent work that is providing a much-needed correction to a field that has sometimes devoted too much energy to establishing a female literary tradition and ignored the differences." Seventeenth-Century News