Critical Reception Studies: the White Feminism of Feminist Reception Scholarship

Ranger, H. 2023. Critical Reception Studies: the White Feminism of Feminist Reception Scholarship. in: Umachandran, Mathura and Ward, Marchella (ed.) Critical Ancient World Studies: The Case for Forgetting Classics Routledge.

Chapter titleCritical Reception Studies: the White Feminism of Feminist Reception Scholarship
AuthorsRanger, H.
EditorsUmachandran, Mathura and Ward, Marchella
Abstract

This chapter explores the ideological function of the dominant frameworks of “revision” and “empowerment” in feminist classical reception scholarship. The chapter argues that the paradigm of revisionary empowerment is a manifestation of the dominance of “white feminism” in classical reception studies, a feminism that facilitates the discipline of Classics’ evasion of a sincere engagement with its historical and ongoing implication in white supremacism, classism, and misogyny. Crucially, white feminist analyses fail to incorporate a reflexive analysis of the scholar’s own acculturation into the discipline and her complicity in the reproduction of cultural, institutional, and discursive power. The first half of the chapter uses the classicising poetry of Sylvia Plath—an early and pre-eminent example of a “revisionary” poet—as a case study to expose the false premise upon which the narrative of subversive empowerment has been built. The second half of the essay turns to examine discourses of white feminism in contemporary public-facing feminist classical reception scholarship, using Mary Beard’s Women & Power: A Manifesto (2017) and Helen Morales’ Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths (2020) as case studies.

Book titleCritical Ancient World Studies: The Case for Forgetting Classics
Year2023
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dates
Published19 Dec 2023
ISBN9781032120119
9781032120126
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003222637
File
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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