The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The Mixed Legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Synopsis

"This collection of fourteen new essays on Gilman's mixed legacy - her vision for a truly humane, egalitarian world alongside her persistent presentation of class, ethnic, and racial stereotypes - underscores the contemporary relevance of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). Gilman enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a writer, lecturer, and socialist, and her prodigious output (novels, stories, poetry, lectures, journalism, theoretical works) stands as a major contribution to modern feminist thought on important, contested economic and social issues. After her death in 1935, she was virtually forgotten. With the revival of the women's movement in the 1960s and 1970s, however, Gilman was "rediscovered," her arguments deemed prescient by late-twentieth-century feminists." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This collection of essays on the mixed legacy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman is itself the legacy of the Second International Charlotte Perkins Gilman Conference held at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, 26–28 July 1997. Skidmore is but one of the many academic institutions where Charlotte Perkins Gilman lectured in the early twentieth century. The conference itself capitalized upon the success of the First International Conference held in Liverpool, United Kingdom, in July 1995 (designed to raise Gilman's profile in Great Britain) as well as the past thirty years of scholarship reclaiming Gilman (evidenced by the creation of the Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society in 1990).

This Second International Conference brought together Gilman scholars from across the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom to share research on all aspects of Gilman's work and influence. Panels featured eminent presenters from a range of disciplines (history, English, American studies, sociology, women's studies, the arts) and a new generation of Gilman scholars (graduate students and those new to Gilman studies). Walter Stetson Chamberlin and Linda Stetson Chamberlin, Gilman's grandson and great-granddaughter, offered family lore, personal reflections, and an account of Gilman's extensive lecture tours from the late-nineteenth to the early-twentieth centuries as well as insights on Gilman's plans for dress reform. The conference was supported by a mini-grant from the New York Council on the Humanities, the expertise of staff members of the Office of Special Programs and the Office of College Relations, Skidmore faculty members, and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. We are grateful to all of the individuals who helped to make the conference a success.

Tragically, Elaine R. Hedges, a keynote presenter, died just weeks before the conference. Thus, the conference began with a tribute to Elaine, delivered by her long-time friend and editor, Florence Howe; editor of The Feminist Press, Florence Howe was responsible for reprinting “The Yellow Wall-Paper” with Elaine's afterword in 1973. In the early 1970s, Elaine played a pivotal role in helping to reclaim Gilman among other overlooked American women writers. Much like the . . .

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