Apr 5, 2011

Feminist Pragmatism

Hello, everyone.

Here are the chalkboard questions from today's class to keep in mind as we continue reading in this sphere, and especially to consider as we finish discussing Rebecca Harding Davis's "Life in the Iron Mills":
  • How much have our writers in this sphere contributed to the development of American pragmatism, and how much have they gained from it? This question is somewhat hypothetical -- perhaps we should ask how much they appear to have contributed and appear to have gained. I am thinking primarily of Wells-Barnett, Gilman, Davis, Addams, and Schneiderman.
  • What role do definitions of "feminism" play in definitions of "pragmatism" (according to Charlene Seigfried)? What is "feminist pragmatism" in Seigfried's discussion?
  • What defines a "pragmatic" lens to literature? A "feminist pragmatist" lens to literature? How do we read "pragmatically"?
  • "Feminism" was not a widespread critical term until the 1930s, but we have used the term quite liberally to describe a number of our writers before 1900. Is it possible to argue for any of our writers in this sphere as "proto-feminist"? If so, how? If not, why not?

-Professor Graban