300 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Gender about their New Books

New Books in Gender Studies New Books Network

    • Social Sciences

Interviews with Scholars of Gender about their New Books

    Rosine Jozef Perelberg, "Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue" (Routledge, 2018)

    Rosine Jozef Perelberg, "Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue" (Routledge, 2018)

    Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue (Routledge, 2018), edited by Rosine Jozef Perelberg, clarifies and develops the Freudian conception according to which sexual identity is not reduced to the anatomical difference between the sexes, but is constructed as a psychic bisexuality that is inherent to all human beings.
    The book takes the Freudian project into new grounds of clinical practice and theoretical formulations and contributes to a profound psychoanalytic understanding of sexuality. The object of pychoanalysis is psychosexuality, which is not, in the final analysis, determined by having a male or a female body, but by the unconscious phantasies that are reached après coup through tracing the nuanced interplay of identifications as they are projected, enacted and experienced in the transference and the countertransference in the analytic encounter.
    Drawing on British and French Freudian and post-Freudian traditions, the book explores questions of love, transference and countertransference, sexual identity and gender to set out the latest clinical understanding of bisexuality, and includes chapters from influential French analysts available in English for the first time. Psychic Bisexuality: A British-French Dialogue will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists as well as gender studies scholars.
    Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Los Angeles. He is candidate at The Psychoanalytic Center of California. He can be reached at philipjlance@gmail.com.
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    • 53 min
    Helen Taylor, "Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Helen Taylor, "Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Why and how is fiction important to women? In Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives (Oxford University Press, 2020), Helen Taylor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter, explores this question to give a detailed and engaging picture of fiction in women’s lives. The book presents women’s narratives about fiction, interpretations of key texts, and perspectives on writers and the publishing industry. As the book makes clear, reading is not just another hobby for women, as it occupies a crucial role in women’s lives. Full of examples and women’s stories of how reading matters, discussions of gender and genre, the role of women as authors, along with analysis of book clubs and literary festivals, the book is essential reading across the humanities, social sciences, and for anyone interested in reading!
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    • 32 min
    Carol Dyhouse, "Hearthrobs: A History of Women and Desire" (Oxford UP, 2017)

    Carol Dyhouse, "Hearthrobs: A History of Women and Desire" (Oxford UP, 2017)

    What can a cultural history of the heartthrob teach us about women, desire, and social change? From dreams of Prince Charming or dashing military heroes, to the lure of dark strangers and vampire lovers; from rock stars and rebels to soulmates, dependable family types or simply good companions, female fantasies about men tell us as much about the history of women as about masculine icons.
    When girls were supposed to be shrinking violets, passionate females risked being seen as "unbridled," or dangerously out of control. Change came slowly, and young women remained trapped in double-binds. You may have needed a husband in order to survive, but you had to avoid looking like a gold-digger. Sexual desire could be dangerous: a rash guide to making choices. Show attraction too openly and you might be judged "fast" and undesirable.
    Education and wage-earning brought independence and a widening of cultural horizons. Young women in the early twentieth century showed a sustained appetite for novel-reading, cinema-going, and the dancehall. They sighed over Rudolph Valentino's screen performances, as tango-dancer, Arab tribesman, or desert lover. Contemporary critics were sniffy about "shop-girl" taste in literature and in men, but as consumers, girls had new clout.
    In Hearthrobs: A History of Women and Desire (Oxford University Press, 2017), social and cultural historian Carol Dyhouse draws upon literature, cinema, and popular romance to show how the changing position of women has shaped their dreams about men, from Lord Byron in the early nineteenth century to boy-bands in the early twenty-first. Reflecting on the history of women as consumers and on the nature of fantasy, escapism, and "fandom," she takes us deep into the world of gender and the imagination. A great deal of feminist literature has shown women as objects of the "male gaze": this book looks at men through the eyes of women.
    In this interview, Jana Byars, the academic director of SIT Amsterdam, talks with Dyhouse about Hearthrobes. Though clearly rooted in her earlier academic work, this divergence into popular history provides a smart and delightful read. Jana and Carol talk about the female gaze, male stereotypes, and the power of popular culture.
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    • 31 min
    Emily Colbert Cairns, "Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Emily Colbert Cairns, "Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

    Emily Colbert Cairns’ book, Esther in Early Modern Iberia and the Sephardic Diaspora: Queen of the Conversas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), traces the biblical figure of Esther, the secret Jewish Queen, as she is reinvented as the patron saint for the early modern Sephardic community. This hybrid globetrotter emerges repeatedly in dramatic texts, poetry, and even visual representation in the global Sephardic diaspora on the Iberian Peninsula, Amsterdam, and New Spain. Colbert Cairns argues that Esther’s female body emerges as a site for power struggles and symbolic territory for drawing constantly moving communal boundaries. While certain early modern representations of Esther mobilize this queen promote traditional values for proper female behavior (obedience, deference to male authority, beauty), Colbert Cairns shows that Esther’s identity exceeds facile notions of national, ethnic, or racial identity and instead opens out a sense of Sephardic difference beyond geographical boundaries.
    Elizabeth Spragins is assistant professor of Spanish at the College of the Holy Cross. Her current book project is on corpses in early modern Mediterranean narrative. You can follow her on Twitter @elspragins.
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    • 54 min
    Rachel Chrastil, "How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Rachel Chrastil, "How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    In this episode, Jana Byars talks with Rachel Chrastil, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences and member of the history department at Xavier University, about her newest book, How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children (Oxford University Press, 2019). This book is, at its heart, a history book, exploring the most personal of women’s decisions from the 1500s on. It also makes a stab at providing childless women with a narrative to support their own choices. From the introduction, “Childless women may think that they are alone in this experience, but, in fact, they can draw on a long history of childlessness that extends for centuries. With the exception of the baby boom, widespread childlessness has been a long-standing reality in northwestern European towns and cities from around 1500 onward.” This books attempts the difficult task of marrying scholarship with modern cultural study. The work is excellent, and the conversation fun.
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    • 36 min
    Eileen Botting, "The Wollstonecraftian Mind" (Routledge, 2019)

    Eileen Botting, "The Wollstonecraftian Mind" (Routledge, 2019)

    Eileen Hunt Botting is Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame and co-editor with Sandrine Berges and Alan Coffee of the anthology The Wollstonecraftian Mind (Routledge, 2019). The collection presents thirty-nine essays from distinguished scholars in philosophy, religion, literature, intellectual history, and other fields who consider the work of the eighteenth-century British philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft. A political and moral thinker and a forerunner to modern feminism she has not received attention on par with the wide breath of her ideas. The collection gives the reader insight into to her life, major works of philosophy and novels, debates with Edmund Burke and Rousseau, and enduring legacy. She commented on religion, liberalism, republicanism, moral virtue, education, women’s place in society and much more. Her ideas were known to women such as Lucretia Mott, Virginia Woolf, and Simone de Beauvoir who found in her a source for building a modern feminist philosophy. Timely and fruitful, The Wollstone-craftian Mind provides a board survey of an erudite thinker and a source for understanding the politics of the modern era.
    Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her most recent book is entitled The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her current research project is on the intellectual history of feminism seen through the emblematic life and work of Simone de Beauvoir.
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    • 1 hr 8 min

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