Thursday, October 04, 2007

Feminist Studies

Feminist Studies began publishing in 1972. Since volume 2 (1974-1975) the journal has included poetry, in fact in the first poems published were by Rachel Blau DuPlessis. I’m going to examine volumes 2 through 5 of the journal which will be between 1974 and 1980. I’m interested in Feminist Studies in particular because of the history of the editorial board of the journal and their engagement in poetry as well as the history of poetry in the feminist movement during this time period. Some questions that I will be asking about the issues are: How is poetry included - both poems and poetry as a critical object of study for feminist studies? How are the feminist poetics that are at work at the time among women’s communities filtering in through these pages? What function does poetry play in the journal? What function does poetry have in relation to the theory developed in the journal? What is the relationship of poetry to the editors of the journal?

I am then going to compare those with two recent volumes 31 and 32 from 2005 and 2006. I will be thinking about questions regarding the changes over the thirty year period of the journal and poetry including, Has the role of poetry in the journal changed? Has the positioning of poetry in the journal changed?

The early years of the journal are important to me because of the work of scholars in thinking about feminism and poetry. I’m interested in looking at the artifacts from this time in light of work like Kim Whitehead in The Feminist Poetry Movement and Katie King in Theory in its Feminist Travels, but I’m also interested in looking at changes in how poetry is functioning in the scholarship today.

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