CSWS Noon Talk: Literary Privacy and Feminist Politics


Bryna Tuft, East Asian Languages and Literatures (graduate student and GTF), “A Fine and Private Place: Literary Privacy and Feminist Politics of the Self in the Works of the Avant-Garde Women Writers.”

In the period of economic expansion and increasing openness to personal expression and individuality following Deng Xiaoping’s “Open Door” reforms, the avant-garde women writers engaged in a project of resistance to the traditionally appropriated use of the female body, image, and voice.  This resistance can be seen in the ways they consciously construct a private space in their fiction, by presenting alternate forms of female sexuality (in contrast to the heterosexual wife and mother) and by adding details of their own personal histories in their writing.  Critics of this literature often oversimpify it, attacking it as being self-exploitative and trivial, while feminist supporters often take an over-naturalized view of the descriptions of female sexuality.

Time: 12:00-1:00pm

Location: 330 Hendricks Hall, the Jane Grant Conference Room