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Spectacles of Realism

Gender, Body, Genre

1995

Margaret Cohen and Christopher Prendergast, editors

Spectacles of Realism

A rethinking of realism that reveals its relevance to sexual and cultural politics.

Despite rumors of its demise in literary theory and practice, realism persists. Why this is, and how realism is relevant to current interdisciplinary debates in gender studies and cultural studies, are the questions underlying Spectacles of Realism. With particular reference to nineteenth-century French culture, the contributors explore the role realism has played in the social construction of gender and sexuality.

Contributors: April Alliston, Emily Apter, Charles Bernheimer, Rhonda Garelick, Judith Goldstein, Anne Higonnet, Roger Huss, Dorothy Kelly, Diana Knight, Jann Matlock, Linda Nochlin, Patrick O’Donovan, Vanessa Schwartz, Naomi Segal, and Barbara Vinken.

This stunning collection will put before the academic public a distinctive new generation of scholars. The future of French studies is clearly in good hands.

Richard Terdiman

Despite rumors of its demise in literary theory and practice, realism persists. Why this is, and how realism is relevant to current interdisciplinary debates in gender studies and cultural studies, are the questions underlying Spectacles of Realism. With particular reference to nineteenth-century French culture, the contributors explore the role realism has played in the social construction of gender and sexuality. Among their subjects are nineteenth-century physiologies, photographs, caricatures, and Balzac’s Comédie humaine; the ethnographic claims of Goncourt’s naturalism and the historical claims of Zola’s; and the allure of exotica displayed at new museums and international expositions.

Contributors: April Alliston, Princeton U; Emily Apter, UCLA; Charles Bernheimer, U of Pennsylvania; Rhonda Garelick; Judith Goldstein, Vassar; Anne Higonnet, Wellesley; Roger Huss, Queen Mary and Westfield College; Dorothy Kelly, Boston U; Diana Knight, U of Nottingham; Jann Matlock, Harvard U; Linda Nochlin, NYU; Patrick O’Donovan, King’s College; Vanessa Schwartz, American U; Naomi Segal, U of Reading; Barbara Vinken, NYU.

Spectacles of Realism

Margaret Cohen teaches in the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. Christopher Prendergast is reader in modern French literature at Cambridge University and fellow at King’s College.

Spectacles of Realism

This stunning collection will put before the academic public a distinctive new generation of scholars. The future of French studies is clearly in good hands.

Richard Terdiman

This collection is worthwhile reading and re-reading. It is fascinating material for literature specialists, French historians, theoreticians, or multi-disciplinary scholars. Its many facets, using diverse approaches, have a way of merging into a full-blown picture the cultural and textural features of nineteenth-century France.

Claudine Fisher, Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature