Affect and the history of women, gender and masculinity

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Title: Affect and the history of women, gender and masculinity
Authors: O'Donnell, Katherine
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Date: 2009
Abstract: This article begins with looking at the disciplines of literary studies and history to discuss how they are distinct yet share a certain overlapping ground. Literary studies’ focus on the subject matter of affect and historians’ focus on verifying facts are rudimentary distinctions between the fields but despite the differences in method and perspective between these disciplines, the boundaries of feminist history and feminist literary studies have intersected to create a shared territory for the field of the history of women, in which the examination of affect is a crucial focus. Romantic passion between women still remains a problematic topic for women’s history but is a fertile area of study in gender history. The article looks at the relatively recent academic endeavour of historicising masculinity, and on the new work, which focuses on understanding the expression and status of emotion in male bonding. The argument is made that these historians of masculinity follow in the footsteps of feminist historical studies of affect and feminist gender history. The essay closes with thought on how this focus on historicising affect, specifically love, commitment, friendship and desire for intimacy has reverberations in contemporary society.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Irish Academic Press
Copyright (published version): This edition 2009 Irish Academic Press. Copyright individual chapters with authors
Keywords: Literary studiesAffectFeminist history writingGender historyMasculinity
Subject LCSH: Literature--Research
Feminist criticism
Gender identity--History
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Is part of: Maryann Valiulis (ed.). Gender and Power in Irish History
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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