Reading For Self-Defense

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Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History


This essay traces the impact of the wider ideological landscape regarding “identity politics,” interpretive practice, and literature of the 1970s on Judith Fetterley's The Resisting Reader. Specifically, it tracks the traces of Black and women of color feminist organizing legible in Fetterley's text, as well as those left by social movements operating at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. Though these traces go unattributed, this article argues that their presence offers an opportunity to read, as Fetterley might put it, a closed system from "without." The author's resistant reading of Fetterley's text suggests how her "radical feminism" calls for a distinct attention to the materialist operations of academic and literary institutions in an investigation of their racialized, patriarchal power.


identity politics, university studies, feminism, Judith Fetterley

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