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Gender History: A Very Short Introduction [#746]
Gender History: A Very Short Introduction [#746]
  • Contextualizes the way that the study of gender history has changed since the 1970's
  • Disputes mainstream interpretations of gender history as a field shaped by liberal narratives of progress
  • Illuminates the Euro-American and modernist underpinnings of historical thinking about gender

Antoinette Burton argues that gender history is hiding in plain sight, at work everywhere we look.
This volume introduces the field of gender history--its origins, development, reception, recalibrations, and frictions. It offers a set of working definitions of gender as a descriptive category and as a category of historical analysis, tracing the emergence, usage, and applicability of these entwined subjects across a range of times and places since the 1970s.
Inevitably political, gender history has taken aim at the broader field of historical narrative by asking who counts as a historical subject, what difference gender makes, and how attention to it subverts reigning assumptions of what power, culture, economics, and identity have been in the past--and what they are today. The book explores how gender analysis has changed interpretations of the histories of slavery, capitalism, migration, and empire.
As a field, gender history has been extraordinarily influential in shaping several generations of scholars and students. The fact that its early emphasis on the relationship between masculinity and femininity was part of a larger set of challenges to universal history by poststructuralism, postmodernism, and postcolonialism positions it at the heart of some of the most fractious intellectual debates of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. And, as part of the movement toward gender equality that is key to modern western progress, gender history has been caught up in the culture wars that continue to shape post-global society. What is intriguing and ultimately defining about gender history is the way that the centrality of gender, so important for revealing how identity is structured in and through regimes of power, has been unable to hold its own over the half century of the field's own history. The practice of gender history has always run up against the forces of race, class, and sexuality that challenge the singularity of gender itself as an explanatory category of historical analysis. That powerful, unruly tension is at the heart of this Very Short Introduction.



Introduction: Gender history as a symptom of crisis
Chapter 1 What's in a name? The beginnings of gender history as a field
Chapter 2 Gender history takes off
Chapter 3 Intersectionality and the making of gender history
Chapter 4 Before the modern, beyond the Americas
Chapter 5 Queering the subject
Conclusion: Toward the futures of gender history

Further reading

About the author: 

Antoinette Burton is Maybelle Leland Swanlund Endowed Chair Professor of History at the University of Illinois. She is the author of six books including Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing House, Home and History in Late Colonial India and The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism.

Product details

ISBN : 9780197587010

Antoinette Burton
160 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Jul 2024
Very Short Introductions
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Gender History: A Very Short Introduction [#746]

Gender History: A Very Short Introduction [#746]

Gender History: A Very Short Introduction [#746]