Special Issue: Early Modern Textual Misogynies Back

Misogyny, defined as prejudice against women manifested in any aspect of life, has lingered on legal and medical records to historical accounts, religious tracts and creative endeavours from antiquity to modern times. Studies on early misogynistic discourse have focused on the expression of hatred against women in controversies such as the all-pervading Querelle des Femmes and their riposte by women. Joanna Russ in How to Suppress Women’s Writing (1983) explored the mores and automatisms of exclusion in women’s writing, while Margaret Ezell invites us to revise the underpinnings upon which a tradition of women’s authorship is built.

In order to complete our understanding about the formation, assimilation and transmission of misogynistic undercurrents pertaining to women’s textualities in the early modern period (1500-1780), this special issue of Women’s Writing seeks to examine the variety of androcentric discourses that are not openly hostile to women but perpetuate an ingrained bias against women’s thought, abilities or experiences that we may define as ‘textual misogyny’.

Special attention will be paid to lesser-known case studies and interpretative approaches that lend themselves to critical reconfigurations of misogyny in the early modern period. The special issue aims at making a valuable contribution to how women’s writing has been used as the locus for the reception, reproduction or transformation of androcentric culture.

Analyses of works written in languages and contexts other than English are particularly welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Unacknowledged borrowings of women’s thought.
• Lesser-known contributions by women to intellectual debates.
• Women writers’ assimilation of self-limiting beliefs.
• Condescending appraisals of women’s writings.
• Standardization of women’s discourse as ‘feminine’.
• Banalization and simplification of women’s experiences as non-universals.
• Bias against aesthetic difference or similarity with male peers.
• Critical neglect of ‘minor’ literary genres in print or manuscript.
• Justification of women’s exclusion from communities of learning.
• Women’s biography versus women’s bibliography.
• Undermining/exploitation of women writers’ commercial success.
• Awareness of and challenge to androcentric culture.
• Detachments of women’s writing from the mainstream and canonical.

Please submit for consideration abstracts of at least 250 words to Carme Font Paz (Carme.Font@uab.cat) by 1 August 2020. Finished articles (5,000-7,000 words) from selected proposals must be received by 25 January 2021.

Contributors should follow the journal’s house style details of which are to be found on the Women’s Writing web site http://www.tandfonline.com/rwow . This is the new MLA. Do note that instead of footnotes, we use endnotes with no bibliography. All bibliographical information is included in the endnotes. For example, we require place of publication, publisher and date of publication in brackets after a book is cited for the first time.