Trajectories of change : Modernity / the woman question / new woman fiction, progressive America (1890-1920) and Meiji Japan (1868-1912)

Khou, Carrie

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-398043
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2015
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Reichardt, Ulfried
Date of oral examination: 9 June 2015
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Anglistik III - Amerikanische Literatur- u. Kulturwissenschaft (Reichardt 2001-)
Subject: 810 American literature in English
Subject headings (SWD): USA , Japan , Frauenliteratur , Geschichte
Keywords (English): Progressive America , Meiji Japan , women writers , the New Woman , intercultural exchange , literature , social history
Abstract: Literary studies have identified and examined cultural manifestations of the New Woman in contexts other than North America but rarely analyze these manifestations in relation to one another. Hence, what is needed in addition to the multinational or multiethnic approach is a relational approach that focuses on the possible connections that exist between the cultural manifestations of the New Woman either within a dominant culture or across national borders. In comparing the narratives by selected American and Japanese women writers, I aim to demonstrate that writers in both contexts described images of the New Woman that were similar and nonetheless tailored to the cultural conventions of their respective countries, using the New Woman as a particular and universal concept. The social and literary articulations analyzed show that readings of the New Woman are culturally diverse and culturally interwoven readings. Moreover, the comparison illustrates how historical, social and literary developments fed into the formation of the New Woman as a transnational template of modern womanhood that Japanese and American writers claimed and adapted to the particularities of their respective cultures.

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