Critical Terms for the Study of Gender
This volume is the sixth in a series of "Critical Terms" coursebooks that originated in 1990 with" Critical Terms for Literary Study," edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin. The success of that volume (it has sold more than 80,000 copies in two editions) prompted the Press to commission similar collections for other fields, including art history (edited by Robert Nelson and Richard Schiff), religious studies (edited by Mark Taylor), Buddhist studies (edited by Donald Lopez), and media studies (edited by W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark Hansen).
"Critical Terms for the Study of Gender" aims to give students an introduction to the study of gender through essays on key terms ranging from "Bodies" to "Utopia." Designed for an audience of upper-level undergraduates and beginning graduate students, the volume presents twenty-one essays (all but four published here for the first time) on terms that are fundamental to this vital area of study but often unexamined by many students. Contributors explain what conceptual freight each term carries and what kinds of critical work it can be made to do. Avoiding "-isms" and specialized jargon, the collection focuses instead on terms that are part of everyday discourse in the university but no less loaded for that.
Catharine R. Stimpson, a pioneer of women's studies and of the analysis of gender in literary texts, and Gilbert Herdt, an anthropologist known for his work on how cultures create sexual meanings and practices, have assembled a collection that spans the study of gender and sexuality across the humanities and social sciences. Together, they have compiled a book of essays that will appeal to students within traditional gender studies programs, as well as those working outside the bounds of institutionalized gender studies who may be studying gender in very different disciplinary contexts.