The Female Face of Shame

The Female Face of Shame

Edited by Erica L. Johnson and Patricia Moran
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/16/2013
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00855-8
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The female body, with its history as an object of social control, expectation, and manipulation, is central to understanding the gendered construction of shame. Through the study of 20th-century literary texts, The Female Face of Shame explores the nexus of femininity, female sexuality, the female body, and shame. It demonstrates how shame structures relationships and shapes women's identities. Examining works by women authors from around the world, these essays provide an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective on the representations, theories, and powerful articulations of women's shame.

Author Bio

Erica L. Johnson is Associate Professor of English at Wagner College in New York. She is author of Caribbean Ghostwriting and Home, Maison, Casa: The Politics of Location in Works by Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Erminia Dell'Oro.

Patricia Moran is author of Word of Mouth: Body/Language in Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf and Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and the Aesthetics of Trauma, and editor (with Tamar Heller) of Scenes of the Apple: Food and the Female Body in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Women’s Writing.


“Written by an impressive group of outstanding scholars, the essays in this book make a compelling case for the important connections between shame and femininity across a diverse set of cultural and national contexts. The Female Face of Shame shows us both the damage shame does and its powerful capacity to generate subjectivities, practices and modes of belonging. Johnson and Moran’s volume will be an extremely valuable resource for scholars working in or around affect studies and women’s and gender studies.”
 — Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University

“This collection features well written, carefully researched essays that analyze an impressive range of fictional, autobiographical, theoretical, and (in one case) cinematic texts. It exemplifies feminist scholarship of the highest order and offers a timely intervention. This is a powerful collection with impressive interdisciplinary strengths.”
 — Mary K. DeShazer, Wake Forest University

“Through the study of 20th-century literary texts, The Female Face of Shame explores the nexus of femininity, female sexuality, the female body, and shame, demonstrating how shame structures relationships and shapes women's identities.”

“Through the study of 20th-century literary texts, The Female Face of Shame explores the nexus of femininity, female sexuality, the female body, and shame.”

“This is a wide-ranging collection analyzing literary representations of the links betwen women and shame. Johnson . . . and Moran . . . have taken pains to make the collection's range as inclusive as possible by including essays on modern and contemporary literary texts from many nations, read from a variety of identity positions (queer, disabled, and women of color are all represented). . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

“Johnson and Moran's volume is well presented, highly original and deeply moving. As well as providing a new theoretical framework in which women's literature and experience can be discussed, it is significant that this is not only an academic text, but also a source of comfort, understanding and hope to marked women who suffer the emotional anguish of shame within their societies.”
 — Women's Studies International Forum

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Table of Contents



Part 1. Bodies of Shame
1. The Other Woman: Xenophobia and Shame \ Jocelyn Eighan
2. Rape, Trauma, and Shame in Samira Bellil's Dans l'enfer des tournantes \ Nicole Fayard
3. A Bloody Shame: Angela Carter's Shameless Postmodern Fairy Tales \ Suzette A. Henke
4. "Ecrire pour ne plus avoir honte": Christine Angot's and Annie Ernaux's Shameless Bodies \ Natalie Edwards
5. Interactions of Disability Pride and Shame \ Eliza Chandler

Part 2. Families of Shame
6. Colonial Shame in Michelle Cliff's Abeng \ Erica L. Johnson
7. Ancestors and Aliens: Queer Transformations and Affective Estrangement in Octavia Butler's Fiction \ Frann Michel
8. Daughters of the House of Shame \ Sinead McDermott
9. "Bound and Gagged with Thread": Shame, Female Development, and the Künstlerroman Tradition in Cora Sandel's The Alberta Trilogy \ Patricia Moran
10. Girl World and Bullying: Intersubjective Shame in Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye \ Laura Martocci
11. Affliction in Jean Rhys and Simone Weil \ Tamar Heller

Part 3. Nations of Shame
12. Coping with National Shames through Chinese Women's Bodies: Glorified or Mortified? \ Peiling Zhao
13. Shamed Bodies: Partition Violence and Women \ Namrata Mitra
14. Interrogating the Place of Lajja (Shame) in Contemporary Mauritius \ Karen Lindo
15. Shame and Belonging in Postcolonial Algeria \ Anna Rocca

List of Contributors