Marginalized Women and Work in 20th- and 21st-Century British and American Literature and Media examines the intricate relationship between marginalized women and work through critical essays about representations of women’s work in non-canonical literary writings, mass media, and popular culture. Covering a broad range of texts including Paule Marshall’s fiction, Natasha Trethewey’s poetry, and the Netflix series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, among others, this collection takes an intersectional approach in order to shed light on the definition and meaning of marginalized women's work and the value of their labor in the capitalistic economic systems of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Hediye Özkan is instructor in the Department of Western Languages and Literatures at Aksaray University, Turkey.
Part I: Motherhood, Work, and Resistance
Chapter One: “Package Labeled Colored”: Reading Race, Gender, and Labor in Ann Petry’s The Street
Namrata Dey Roy
Chapter Two: Invisible Labor, Partnership, and Resistance: Staging Women’s Undervalued Work
Part II: Poetic Representations of Working Women
Chapter Three: “Eschew[Ing] The Polaroid Instant”: The Depiction of Women Workers in Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work and Bellocq’s Ophelia
Chapter Four: Memory at Work: Docupoetry and the Mnemonic Labor of Women
Chapter Five: Decoration as a Form of Self-Care: Reading Gwendolyn Brooks’s Black Female Domestic Workers
Alicia Ye Sul Oh
Part III: Immigrant Working Women in Metropolitans
Chapter Six: Cutting and Contriving: Ulene Payne in Paule Marshall’s Novel The Fisher King
Margaret E. Salifu
Chapter Seven: Wife, Woman, and Breadwinner: Nazneen Ahmed’s Journey in a Foreign Land
M. Anjum Khan
Part IV: Visual Representation of Working Women
Chapter Eight: (In)Visible Bodies: The Corporeal Representations of Working Women in Early 21st-Century American Primetime Drama
Chapter Nine: Working Black Women and the Performance of Racial Uplift in the Netflix Series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
Chapter Ten: Clocking in and Clocking out: Roseanne and the Politics of Gendered Work in Its First Season
This superb collection uniquely explores a range of genres and mediums to highlight the complexity of employment in the literary and visual representations of and by marginalized women. The provocative and wide-ranging essays explore novel, drama, poetry, visual art, television, and popular culture by examining issues related to labor conditions, intersectionality, stereotyping, exploitation, and invisibility, as well as the achievement and empowerment provided by work. Bringing attention to the ways literary and popular representations of women’s employment have been stereotyped and gendered, this collection challenges accepted notions and deepens our understanding of the role of work in identity formation and cultural connection for marginalized women.