Arms and the Woman: War, Gender, and Literary Representation (BOK)
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Although the themes of women's complicity in and resistance to war have been part of literature from early times, they have not been fully integrated into conventional conceptions of the war narrative. Combining feminist literary criticism with the emerging field of feminist war theory, this collection explores the role of gender as an organizing principle in the war system and reveals how literature perpetuates the ancient myth of "arms and the man." The volume shows how the gendered conception of war has both shaped literary texts and formed the literary canon. It identifies and interrogates the conventional war text, with its culturally determined split between warlike men and peaceful women, and it confirms that women's role in relation to war is much more complex and complicitous than such essentializing suggests. The contributors examine a wide range of familiar texts from fresh perspectives and bring new texts to light. Collectively, these essays range in time from the Trojan War to the nuclear age. The contributors are June Jordan, Lorraine Helms, Patricia Francis Cholakian, Jane E. Schultz, Margaret R. Higonnet, James Longenbach, Laura Stempel Mumford, Sharon O'Brien, Jane Marcus, Sara Friedrichsmeyer, Susan Schweik, Carol J. Adams, Esther Fuchs, Barbara Freeman, Gillian Brown, Helen M. Cooper, Adrienne Auslander Munich, and Susan Merrill Squier.