Public Feminism in Times of Crisis

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this week's review uncovers the connections between present and past displays of public feminism.

Public Feminism in Times of Crisis: From Sappho’s Fragments to Viral Hashtags

Easa, Leila. by Leila Easa and Jennifer Stager Lexington Books, 2022
296p bibl index, 9781793648105 $110.00, 9781793648112 $45.00

Public Feminism in Times of Crisis: From Sappho's Fragments to Viral Hashtags book cover.

Easa (English, City College of San Francisco) and Stager (history of art, Johns Hopkins Univ.) use an interdisciplinary lens to explore how contemporary feminist interventions in both physical and virtual spaces are rooted in earlier moments of feminist activism. Their work makes past efforts visible while encouraging evolving practices that leverage digital spaces for progressive action. Easa and Stager offer wide-ranging analyses of literary texts, works of art, performances, monuments, viral hashtags, and other cultural artifacts to trace the vexed ways women write and rewrite, with much attention paid to the body, trauma, material conditions, and the interconnection of individual and collective identities. The first half of the book focuses on the ways women speak back to patriarchy, giving special attention to Roxane Gay, Artemisia Gentileschi, and practices of silence, mapping, archiving women’s experiences, and translation. The second half explores public feminism in new arenas, such as citational justice, hashtags and virality, and memorial lists. The analyses are complex and thoughtful, and the writing is clear and impassioned. The power of each chapter’s final paragraph alone makes the book worth reading.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.
Reviewer: L. McMillan, Kutztown University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Women’s & Gender Studies
 Social & Behavioral Sciences
Choice Issue: Apr 2023

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