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Michael Banton

If social units are to be classified it must be by reference to some distinctive characteristic or characteristics that they share. Administrative classifications are usually based on the characteristics identified in the everyday language that reflects practical knowledge. Classifications that will assist the growth of social scientific knowledge have to be based on the identification of theoretically relevant characteristics. Classification precedes the naming of categories. Experimental research into the relative strength of civic and ethnic preferences could uncover the variables that underlie popular notions of nation, race and ethnic group.

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The Wanderer Contained

Issues of 'Inside' and 'Outside' in Relation to Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie and Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping

Joanne Hall

This article examines two texts which contain representations of the female hobo: Harold Gray's comic strip Little Orphan Annie (1924–1964) and Marilynne Robinson's novel Housekeeping (1980). This article will focus on a section of Orphan Annie from 1926 and 1927. The many differences between the texts – which include their genre and their temporal setting and production – are acknowledged. However, I am primarily concerned with the figure that unites these disparate texts: the female hobo. This article makes use of two key concepts: the category and the frame. There are several categories within these texts: wife, mother, orphan, daughter, and that of wanderer. This article is also concerned with the collapse of categories. Marjorie Garber argues that the presence of a passing figure reveals a 'category crisis'. In Garber's argument this is 'a failure of definitional distinction, a borderline that becomes permeable, that permits of border crossings from one (apparently distinct) category to another' (1993:16). The texts examined in this paper both contain passing figures: Orphan Annie features Annie as a crossed dressed female hobo and Housekeeping a hobo attempting to become a small town mother.

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John Powell Ward

After three decades the ‘aesthetic’ has crept back into literary studies. It is twelve years since Isobel Armstrong wrote that ‘the abandonment of the concept of literature and the category of the “aesthetic” . . . is possibly one of the greatest mistakes the left has made this decade’, and eleven since Terry Eagleton traced powerful ideas through a galaxy of philosophers of the last two centuries. Peter Brooks’s article ‘Aesthetics and Ideology: What Became of Poetics?’ appeared in 1994.

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The Corpus of Jinglese

A Syntactic Profile of an Idiolectal 'System of Stenography'

Peter Wilson

This is an example of what I will call ‘Jinglese’, the idiolect spoken by Alfred Jingle in Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers (1837). With reference to this extract, Dickens, or at least the narrator of the novel, characterizes Jingle’s idiolect as ‘a lengthened string of similar broken sentences.’ This paper is concerned with the nature of that brokenness, its distribution and discernible categories.

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William L. McBride

In commenting on the three previous diverse and interesting papers above, I have decided to take the ‘category route’. The categories that I have chosen are praxis, stasis, and ethos. (I am attempting to maintain some consistency in my categories!)

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Elizabeth Rivlin

Recent scholarship has defined literacy in early modern England as a culturally and historically constituted term rather than simply as a technical, objectively quantifiable skill.1 In becoming more sensitive to the diverse range of meanings and functions that attached themselves to literacy in the early modern period, scholars have begun to investigate the ways in which different segments of society engaged with language and textuality.2 In response to a growing awareness that identity did not fit into strict categories of the ‘literate’ and the ‘illiterate’, the more flexible and expansive concept of ‘multiple literacies’ has gained critical currency.

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'I wyl wright of women prevy sekenes'

Imagining Female Literacy and Textual Communities in Medieval and Early Modern Midwifery Manuals

Jennifer Wynne Hellwarth

Defining the term ‘literacy’ in medieval and early modern England is not a simple task; it defies the more modern (and relatively uncomplicated) definition of having the ability to read and write. In medieval terminology, a litteratus was someone who was learned in Latin, while an illitteratus was someone who was not. Eventually, litteratus and illitteratus came to be associated with the clergy and laity respectively. But these terms were not used for describing literacy in the vernacular, or the various categories and levels of competence in both reading and writing, either in Latin or in the vernacular. Recently, scholars have increasingly been thinking in terms of multiple ‘literacies’, especially when considering the more elusive female literacy. In her 1998 book, Gender and Literacy on Stage in Early Modern England, Eve Sanders asserts that literacy practices following the Reformation played a role in the formation of gender identity, and that ‘different levels and forms of literacy’ were assigned to each gender. Sanders contributes to what is the project of a growing number of literary scholars, such as Margaret Ferguson and Frances Dolan, who study literacy using gender as a category of examination. By adding gender to the mix, these scholars challenge the more narrow definitions of literacy such as those established by David Cressy’s influential Literacy and the Social Order. They have sought instead to define literacies by exploring the multiple ways in which the ‘products of a culture can be acquired and transmitted.’

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The Good Enough Quarto

Hamlet as a Material Object

Terri Bourus

This article challenges A.W. Pollard’s foundational distinction between good and bad quartos, which confuses ethical and bibliographical categories. Some quartos are badly inked, or printed on poor-quality paper. But Q1 Hamlet is a professional, well-made commodity. Zachary Lesser has conjectured that Q1 sold poorly, and has claimed that the similarity of the title pages of Q1 and Q2 supports that hypothesis. But both title pages are typical of Ling’s books, and their similarities are no more remarkable than those in Ling’s different quartos of Michael Drayton’s poems. Q1 Hamlet apparently sold more quickly than Q2. Using D.W. Winnicott’s theories about the ‘good enough mother’ and ‘transitional objects’, we can identify Q1 as a ‘good enough quarto’.

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The Nature of Gender

Are Juliet, Desdemona and Cordelia to their Fathers as Nature is to Culture?

Gordana Galić Kakkonen and Ana Penjak

This article brings ecofeminist critical thinking to William Shakespeare's female characters: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Desdemona in Othello, and Cordelia in King Lear. Beginning with the principal that women and nature are similar in many ways (reproductive function, discrimination, subordination, possession, violence), ecofeminism focuses on the interaction between the two. Ecofeminism grounds its beliefs in the fact that patriarchal domination gets imposed through different binary oppositions including man-woman and culture-nature categories. By applying ecofeminism's positions, the authors will provide a critical thinking of the production of socially imposed inequalities seen through Juliet, Desdemona, and Cordelia. Since out of many different publications on the topic of ecofeminism none has provided such an approach, the authors believe that the article presents an important addition to the literature on both Shakespeare and ecofeminism.

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Interiors

Sex and the Body in Dickens

William A. Cohen

Not so long ago, the topic of Dickens and sex might have seemed entirely entailed by Foucault's inquires in the first volume of the History of Sexuality. In that work, Foucault argues that sex is not a biological donnée but is instead an effect of discourse, a culturally variable vehicle for the exercise of power in many different directions. Emerging out of Foucault's studies of social institutions such as prisons and madhouses, the History of Sexuality emphasises the disciplinary imperative of sexual knowledges; it argues that individual subjects internalise surveillance mechanisms, experiencing them through and as their sexuality. One of the beneficiaries of the Foucauldian paradigm, which dominated Victorian literary studies from the late 1980s until recently, was queer theory. Queer theory interrogates rather than presuming identity categories (such as homosexual, lesbian and gay), but it has always sat in an uneasy relation to identity politics, simultaneously relying on and deconstructing stable notions of gender and sexual identity. Some critics have employed queer theory to discover lesbian, gay or queer characters and practices in Victorian literature (not to mention finding more properly nineteenth-century types, such as the hysteric, the onanist and the sodomite). Such projects have often understood the function of sexual representation as part of modernity's more general disciplinary structure.