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The Secret Properties of Southern Regionalism: Gender and Agrarianism in Glasgow's Barren Ground

The Secret Properties of Southern Regionalism: Gender and Agrarianism in Glasgow's Barren... 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 re- surgence 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),T he Female Tradition in Southern Liter- ature (1993), and Writing the Range: Race, Class and Culture in the Wom- en’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 specifi c analysis of how southern regionalism, specifi cally 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 re- production is constitutive of this southern regional paradigm. The study of the South as a cultural region has had a long institu- tional history in the United States, but feminist literary critics working in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

The Secret Properties of Southern Regionalism: Gender and Agrarianism in Glasgow's Barren Ground

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 38 (2) – May 31, 2006

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

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 re- surgence 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),T he Female Tradition in Southern Liter- ature (1993), and Writing the Range: Race, Class and Culture in the Wom- en’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 specifi c analysis of how southern regionalism, specifi cally 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 re- production is constitutive of this southern regional paradigm. The study of the South as a cultural region has had a long institu- tional history in the United States, but feminist literary critics working in

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 31, 2006

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