Hannah Britton, Jennifer Fish, and Sheila Meintjes
Women's Activism in South Africa provides the most comprehensive collection of women's experiences within civil society since the 1994 transition. This book captures South African women's stories of collective activism and social change at a crucial point for the future of democracy in the country, if not the continent. Pulling together the voices of activists and scholars, South Africa's path to democracy and the assurance of gender rights emerge as a complex journey of both successes and challenges. The collection elucidates a new form of pragmatic feminism, building upon the elasticity between the state and civil society. What the cases demonstrate is that while the state itself may not be a panacea, it still represents a key source of power and the primary locus of vital resources, including the rights of citizenship, access to basic needs, and the promise of protection from gender-based violence - all central to women's particular needs in South Africa.
Anita Clair Fellman
Fellman shows that Laura Ingalls Wilder's magical Little House series contained a covert political message that made many readers comfortable with the resurgence of conservatism. Because both Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, opposed the New Deal programs being implemented as they wrote, their books use family history as an argument against the state's protection of individuals from economic uncertainty, emphasizing the Ingalls family's isolation and resilience in the face of crises. Fellman argues that the books' popularity helped lay the groundwork for a negative response to big government and a positive view of political individualism, contributing to the acceptance of contemporary conservatism while perpetuating a mythic West. Fellman also explores the continuing presence of the books--and their message--in modern cultural institutions from classrooms to tourism, newspaper editorials to Internet message boards.
Veronica Strong-Boag and Anita Clair Fellman (Editors)
The Promise of Women's History presents readings on the key developments in Canadian, and more generally, women's history. A detailed introduction to the volume notes that society must know about the past in order to understand the present and to confront the future. Once we learn, for example, that the nation's constitutional arrangements have, since their beginnings, disadvantaged women as citizens; that knowledge can become the basis for demands of redress. Once we discover that women routinely have been paid less than men for comparable labor, the case for negotiating a new deal has begun. In this third edition there are 27 readings, 8 of which have been retained from the previous second edition. There are 19 new selections which focus on a range of issues including race and ethnicity, work, sexual orientation, and disability. The readings are also organized into 4 sections: Pre-Confederation, Post-Confederation, Post-WWI, and Post-WWII. Each selection is introduced by the editors, who place the reading within its historical and historiographical contexts.
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