The Kitchen and the Factory

Spaces of Women’s Work and the Negotiation of Social Difference in Antebellum American Literature


45,00 € *

1. Edition, 2016
273 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-6676-6
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 280
Available: 02.12.2016

Keywords: amerikanische Literatur, Frauenliteratur, Sozialgeschichte, Soziale Ungleichheit, Domestic Novels, Hausfrau /i. d. Literatur, Frauenarbeit, Fabrikarbeit, Arbeiterklasse, Sklaverei, Kochbücher, Melville, Herman, Harding Davis, Rebecca


This book asks for the cultural work that spaces of feminine labor do in antebellum texts from a variety of literary and ‘para-literary’ contexts. Singling out the kitchen and the factory, it argues that sites of women’s work serve as key textual microcosms in which antebellum culture negotiates the discourses of social difference whose relevance skyrockets in this period, especially the discourses of gender, class, ‘race,’ and nationhood. Because of their ostensible marginality on the map of the national imaginary, and because they are associated with social subjects multiply marked as marginal—women of the ‘working class’ and slave women—the kitchen and the factory enable the rehearsal of ideas that are difficult to articulate within the core narratives of nationhood: ideas about the forms and meanings of social inequality, and their relationship to the promises of equality that suffuse the nation’s mythology.

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Alicja Piechucka in: Polish Journal for American Studies, 11 (Spring 2017), 236f