Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

By Jennifer Scanlon | Go to book overview

PAULA GUNN ALLEN
(1939-)

Gönul Pültar

Paula Gunn Allen, a self-identified Native American feminist woman poet/author and scholar, was born in 1939 in Cubero, New Mexico, to a Laguna-Sioux- Scottish mother and a Lebanese-American father, both of whom were native New Mexicans.

After attending schools in Cubero, San Fidel, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Allen entered Colorado Women's College. She eventually received a B.A. in English at the University of Oregon in 1966 and an M.F.A. in creative writing at the same university in 1968. She received a Ph.D. in American studies, with an emphasis on Native American studies, from the University of New Mexico in 1975.

While still a graduate student, Paula Gunn Allen started teaching and at the same time published her first book of poems, The Blind Lion ( 1974). In 1978 she received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship; and in 1980-1981, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Native American Scholars Fellowship program to study Native American women's writings. In 1983 she edited Studies in American Indian Literature: Critical Essays and Course Designs. Her only published novel to date, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows, also came out that same year.

Such varied work has led her to a dual career of a published poet/creative writer and a full-time academic. After teaching for a number of years at the University of California at Berkeley, Allen is currently professor of American Indian studies, as a member of the English Department, at UCLA. These bare facts fail to underscore, however, that, in Allen, both pursuits are colored and sustained by feminism. Allen's feminism is itself, in turn, unequivocally colored by lesbianism.

It is impossible to pinpoint when Allen became a feminist, because, as Donna Marie Perry rightly points out, Allen's Native American heritage empowered

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Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Bella Abzug (1920-1998) 1
  • Paula Gunn Allen (1939-) 8
  • Gloria AnzaldÚa (1942-) 14
  • Frances Beale (1940-) 22
  • Rita Mae Brown (1944-) 28
  • Charlotte Bunch (1944-) 36
  • Pat Califia (1954-) 44
  • Judy Chicago (1939-) 51
  • Shirley Chisholm (1924-) 55
  • Esther Ngan-Ling Chow (1943-) 60
  • Pearl Cleage (1948-) 66
  • Kate Clinton (1945- ) 73
  • Mary Daly (1928- ) 79
  • Angela Davis (1944-) 86
  • Shulamith Firestone (1945-) 98
  • Jo Freeman (1945-) 104
  • Betty Friedan (1921-) 111
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) 118
  • Bell Hooks (1952- ) 125
  • Dolores Huerta (1930-) 133
  • June Jordan (1936-) 138
  • Evelyn Fox Keller (1936-) 145
  • Florynce Kennedy (1916-) 150
  • Audre Lorde (1934-1992) 156
  • Catharine Mackinnon (1946-) 163
  • Olga Madar (1915-1996) 174
  • Wilma Mankiller (1945-) 181
  • Del Martin (1921-) 188
  • Kate Millett (1934- ) 194
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 201
  • Robin Morgan (1941-) 206
  • Pauli Murray (1910-1985) 213
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937-) 218
  • Alice Paul (1885-1977) 223
  • Anna Quindlen (1952-) 231
  • Adrienne Rich (1929-) 238
  • Faith Ringgold (1930-) 245
  • Rosemary Ruether (1936-) 251
  • Joanna Russ (1937-) 257
  • Patricia Schroeder (1940-) 264
  • Eleanor Smeal (1939-) 271
  • Barbara Smith (1946-) 279
  • Gloria Steinem (1934-) 283
  • Margo St. James (1937-) 290
  • Alice Walker (1944- ) 297
  • Rebecca Walker (1969-) 305
  • Michele Wallace (1952-) 311
  • Sarah Weddington (1945-) 317
  • Ellen Willis (1941-) 327
  • Selected Bibliography 335
  • Index 341
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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