The Florence Howe Award for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship, created in 1974, has played a major role in establishing the legitimacy and visibility of feminist inquiry. The early award-winning essays are available in the MLA volume Courage and Tools. This volume presents the seventeen essays that won the award for the years 1990-2004, an era that witnessed a diversification of the objects of feminist study and critical approaches. Essays treat authors ranging from well-known writers such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Gwendolyn Brooks, Doris Lessing, and Virginia Woolf to less familiar writers such as the Magreb author Assia Djebar, the Spanish poet Concha Mendez, the Native American writer Zitkala-Sa, and the Palestinian novelists Liana Badr and Sahar Khalifeh. Essayists explore their topics through a multiplicity of perspectives, including race and ethnicity studies, cultural studies, psychoanalysis and film theory, nationhood and nationalism, and discourses of aging. Each award winner has written a short afterword, reflecting on her essay and her critical practice.The volume includes a foreword by Florence Howe, cofounder of the Feminist Press, and an afterword by Annette Kolodny, an early recipient of the Florence Howe award.
Diversifying the Discourse