Friday, October 18, 2013

Black Women's Literary Scholarship via Courtney Thorsson's work

I was recently talking with some friends about citations and the lack of references to women's creative and critical work in scholarly writings. That's a problem, but not in the case of Courtney's Thorsson work.

On the surface, her book Women's Work: Nationalism and Contemporary African American Women's Novels is primarily about Toni Cade Bambara, Ntozake Shange, Paule Marshall, Gloria Naylor, and Toni Morrison. But in the background, or read through the notes, her book is also about the accumulated knowledge and scholarly work among black women thinkers over the years.

What follows are just a few of the scholarly writings referenced at least a couple of times in Thorsson's work. I'm organizing the list chronologically to give a sense of the progression over the years.

1970: Toni Cade Bambara, "On the Issue of Roles."
1975: Mary Helen Washington, Black-Eyed Susans: Stories by and about Black Women
1979: Beverly Guy-Sheftall, "Commitment: Toni Cade Bambara Speaks."
1980:  Barbara Christian, Black Women Novelists: The Development of a Tradition, 1892-1976.
1981: Toni Morrison, "City Limits, Village Values: Concepts of the Neighborhood in Black Fiction."
1982: Gloria Naylor, The Women of Brewster Place
1982: Audre Lorde, "Learning from the 60s."
1983: Alice Walker, In Search of our Mother's Gardens
1983: Claudia Tate, Black Women Writers at Work.
1984: Eugenia Collier, "The Closing of the Circle: Movement from Division to Wholeness in Paule Marshall's Fiction."
1984: Toni Morrison, "Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation." 
1984: Eleanor Traylor, "Music as Theme: The Jazz Mode in the Works of Toni Cade Bambara." 
1985: Gloria Hull, "'What It Is I Think She's Doing Anyhow': A Reading of Toni Cade Bambara's The Salt Eaters.
1988: Gloria Naylor, Mama Day
1989: Cheryl Wall, editor, Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women
1990: bell hooks, Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics
1993: Barbara Christian, "Naylor's Geography."
1994: Madhu Dubey, Black Women Novelists and the Nationalist Aesthetic.
1995: Farah Jasmine Griffin, "Who Set You Flowin'?" The African-American Migration Narrative. 
2006: Cheryl Wall, Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition.

A Notebook on work by Courtney Thorsson 

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