Getting intimate with wollstonecraft: In the republic of letters

Political Theory 33 (3):344 - 369 (2005)
This essay argues that a recurrent concern among feminist scholars to "get Wollstonecraft's (proto-)feminism right" risks (1) limiting how we understand her contributions to the politics of the post-Revolutionary period and (2) limiting how we understand those politics to be gendered. The argument unfolds through a rhetorical analysis that traces Wollstonecraft's efforts to bring order to the practices of reading and writing. In their attempts to discipline literacy, her writings simultaneously challenge and exploit gender practices and identities; in so doing they underscore the significance ofprint culture to the political and sexual struggles of the late eighteenth century. The essay concludes that this significance suggests a need for more detailed analyses of the links between the politics of print culture and the formation of public spheres
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