Gynocriticism  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Gynocriticism is the historical study of women writers as a distinct literary tradition. (Friedman 18) Elaine Showalter coined this term in her essay "Toward a Feminist Poetics." It refers to a criticism that constructs "a female framework for the analysis of women's literature, to develop new models based on the study of female experience, rather than to adapt male models and theories" (quoted by Groden and Kreiswurth from "Toward a Feminist Poetics," New Feminist Criticism , 131). The work of gynocriticsm has been criticized by recent feminists for being essentialist, following too closely along the lines of Sigmund Freud and New Criticism, and leaving out lesbians and women of color. (Literary Terms)




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