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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

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 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

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 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 June 2004

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 January 2003

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Updated Up To 23/01/2018
Volume 2, Number 1 (January 2004) : 113-45
From Essentialism to Constructivism?
The Gender of Peace and War in Gilman, Woolf, and Freud
Yael Feldman
Rubric A: Then and Now

Abstract

Is there a “natural” fit between gender and the pacifist or military impulse?

The article traces the trajectory of the thinking on this issue ever since the initiation of women into the peace movements of nineteenth-century Europe, placing it in the context of the general philosophical shift from essentialism to constructivism. It is argued that the demotion of “the maternal” -- the emblem of pacifism since the early 19th century -- took place in the later work of Virginia Woolf, well before the post-gender heydays of the 1980s. Although the term gender was obviously not available to Woolf, she undermined the conventional division between the sexes through her use of the term androgyny, which prepared her to take on the conventional discourse about aggression, war, and maternal pacifism. A contrastive analysis of the uses and abuses of sexual difference and the maternal metaphor in the works of Woolf and the 19th-century pacifist Charlotte Gilman shows that while amalgamating liberal and radical positions, Woolf’s Three Guineas (1938) in fact anticipated – via its hostile dialogue with Freud – not only the gendering of peace and war but also the contemporary psycho-political analyses of the nexus of sexuality and nationalism.


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