The Secret Properties of Southern Regionalism: Gender and Agrarianism in Glasgow's Barren Ground by Tanya Ann Kennedy The subject of regionalism has once again become a central preoccupation of cultural criticism. What is noteworthy about this resurgence of the critical interest in regionalism is its feminist turn. In the late 1980s, feminist theorists began to recover the importance of a regionalist framework to U.S. women's writing. Collections of literary and historical essays, such as Breaking Boundaries: New Perspectives on Women's Regional Writing (1997), The Female Tradition in Southern Literature (1993), and Writing the Range: Race, Class and Culture in the Women's West (1991) began to appear in earnest in the 1990s. In this essay, I build on this work, but I am also interested in a specific analysis of how southern regionalism, specifically Agrarianism, formulates the relation between private and public as gendered, and how Ellen Glasgow reveals in Barren Ground (1925) that the marginalization of female labor and reproduction is constitutive of this southern regional paradigm. The study of the South as a cultural region has had a long institutional history in the United States, but feminist literary critics working in the field of southern culture have
The Southern Literary Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: May 31, 2006
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