The Case of Lady Anne Clifford; Or, Did Women Have a Mixed Monarchy?

Crawford, Julie A.

My goal here is to use Clifford as a case study for the role of feminist criticism today, not only because she has raised such complex issues for feminist critics of the Renaissance and early modern period but also because the issues her life and work raise about kinship and the household, property and political agency, and the intersectionality of determining forces of identity and power are of continuing relevance to feminist methodologies and politics. I am particularly concerned with feminist claims that have become axiomatic--for the early modern period as well as others--both at the level of historical progression (the march toward modernity) and in more synchronic analyses of social and cultural practices and relationships (including our assumptions that we know what patriarchy, kinship, and household mean). By unsettling these axioms and reconsidering the stories Clifford tells, I hope to illustrate the truth that feminist criticism is by its nature a reconsideration, a form of doing rather than being.

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English and Comparative Literature
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April 9, 2015