Women Writing Culture (Paperback)

By Ruth Behar (Editor), Deborah A. Gordon (Editor)

University of California Press, 9780520202085, 470pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 1996

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In this collection of new reflections on the sexual politics, racial history, and moral predicaments of anthropology, feminist scholars explore a wide range of visions of identity and difference. How are feminists redefining the poetics and politics of ethnography? What are the contradictions of women studying women? How have gender, race, class, and nationality been scripted into the canon?

Through autobiography, fiction, historical analysis, experimental essays, and criticism, the contributors offer exciting responses to these questions. Several pieces reinvestigate the work of key women anthropologists like Elsie Clews Parsons, Margaret Mead, and Ruth Benedict, while others reevaluate the writings of women of color like Zora Neale Hurston, Ella Deloria, and Alice Walker. Some selections explore how sexual politics help to determine what gets written and what is valued in the anthropological canon. Other pieces explore new forms of feminist ethnography that 'write culture' experimentally, thereby challenging prevailing, male-biased anthropological models.

About the Author

Ruth Behar is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and the author of Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story (1993). Deborah Gordon is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Wichita State University.