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Canon Vs. Culture by Jan Groak

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Canon Fodder

Women’s Studies and the (British) Literary Canon

JESSICA MUNNS

Stuart Hall has described the impact of women’s studies on cultural studies: both fields emerged more or less simultaneously in the 1960s, but initially they existed in isolation from each other. In 1976 a group of women published a manifesto, Women Take Issue, expressing their anger at the masculinist bias of the Birmingham Center for Cultural Studies. As Hall memorably puts it, “as a thief in the night, it broke in; interrupted, made an unseemly noise, seized the time, crapped on the table of cultural studies.”1 After Women Take Issue, cultural studies could not go on in the same way. Alongside studies of class, the main thrust of Marxist-oriented, British cultural ...

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