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Feminist Studies – 2004

This appealing journal out of the University of Maryland publishes feminist research, analysis, theory, reviews, art, as well as poetry and fiction; the overall flavor of this issue was resolutely academic. Particularly interesting in this issue was Stephanie Hartman’s essay “Reading the Scar in Breast Cancer Poetry,” which examined how poets like Hilda Raz, Audre Lorde, and Marilyn Hacker wrote about the physical and metaphorical scars of breast cancer. Also a startling discovery – the amazing art work of Betye and Alison Saar, whose work has both powerful symbolism and haunting directness.

This appealing journal out of the University of Maryland publishes feminist research, analysis, theory, reviews, art, as well as poetry and fiction; the overall flavor of this issue was resolutely academic. Particularly interesting in this issue was Stephanie Hartman’s essay “Reading the Scar in Breast Cancer Poetry,” which examined how poets like Hilda Raz, Audre Lorde, and Marilyn Hacker wrote about the physical and metaphorical scars of breast cancer. Also a startling discovery – the amazing art work of Betye and Alison Saar, whose work has both powerful symbolism and haunting directness. Their work is discussed at length in Jessica Dallow’s “Reclaiming Histories: Betye and Alison Saar, Feminism, and the Representation of Black Womanhood.” Anyone who wishes to avoid viewing diagrams of vaginal self exams from seventies self-help books, that would be pages 115-141, in which Michelle Murphy discusses “Immodest Witnessing: The Epistemology of Vaginal Self-Examination in the U.S. Feminist Self-Help Movement.” Another article that interested me was Carrie N. Baker’s “Race, Class, and Sexual Harrassment in the 1970s,” which challenged the idea that sexual harassment is a mainly white, middle-class woman’s problem. I also enjoyed Judith Sornberger’s poem “Our Lady of Guadalupe Appears to Me at Wal-Mart.” Here are the opening lines: “I’m flipping through teapot and teddy bear / toss pillows, when suddenly she’s there, / floating before me in her fiery bubble, / feet resting on the crescent moon…” A good read, especially for those interested in the newest studies with feminist themes. [Feminist Studies, 0103 Taliaferro, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: [email protected] Single issue $15. http://www.feministstudies.org] – JHG

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