AHR Forum: Revisiting 'Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis'

TitleAHR Forum: Revisiting 'Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis'
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMeyerowitz, Joanne, Heidi Tinsman, Maria Bucur, Dylan Elliot, Gail Hershatter, Wang Zheng, and Joan W. Scott
JournalThe American Historical Review
Date Published12/2008

Over the last four decades, feminist scholars have contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the past, deepening our sense of what history means, widening the purview of what history can be, and redefining the very categories of historical analysis. No one has contributed more in this last sense than Joan W. Scott. Her article “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” which appeared in the December 1986 issue of the American Historical Review, presented a sophisticated argument, using poststructuralist and psychoanalytical theories for how we should think of “gender,” and warning us against the fixed or essentialist views that the term has often implied. This “AHR Forum: Revisiting 'Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis'“ includes six authors, who reflect for their regional and temporal field of research the influence of Joan W. Scott's 1986 AHR article, and a comment by Joan W. Scott herself on the history of her article and her current re-reading of it.

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