vol 22 - 1996

This issue's art essay profiles the work of Joyce J. Scott, noted craftsperson and performance artist, whose work struggles with the images, conceptions, and contradictions African American feminists face in interpreting our lives. In her art work and in Terry Gips's art essay, we see both playful and painful commentaries on conventional portrayals of Black women. Scott's work illustrates the convergence of degrading and threatening experiences—the ways that Black women have always had to disguise the truth of their desires. For example, the contiguity of beauty and violence comes through in the delicately wrought "necklace" piece (which replicates the recent South African form of gang killing) and in the peaceful composition of some of her saddest works. Scott's work vividly shows how the oversimplification of Black women in the arts parallels their erasure from history. Many of the contributions to this issue confront, as Scott does, this faceless and voiceless location and offer new paradigms for a different portrayal.

Many feminist scholars and activists—especially women of color—recognize the significance of Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill's work in feminist thinking over the past decade. The article which appears in this issue offers a new interpretation of the tensions in contemporary feminism disclosed by the ways we theorize difference. Baca Zinn and Dill outline their critique of the mainstream feminist project's approach to questions of difference. As an alternative, they synthesize an enormous amount of new theory and practice delineating interlocking and varying hierarchies of domination, outlining a position which they call multiracial feminism, one in which difference can occupy center stage in women's studies today.


Order this issue (print)


Order this issue (print)

Anna Wilson
Death and the Mainstream: Lesbian Detective Fiction and the Killing of the Coming-Out Story

James F. Brooks
"This Evil Extends Especially ... to the Feminine Sex": Negotiating Captivity in the New Mexico Borderlands

Terry Gips
Joyce J. Scott's Mammy/Nanny Series (Art Essay)

Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill
Theorizing Difference from Multiracial Feminism

Barbara Wilson
In Celebration and Remembrance (Short Story)

Francille Rusan Wilson
"This Past Was Waiting for Me When I Came":
The Contextualization of Black Women's History
(Review Essay)

Laura F. Edwards
The Disappearance of Susan Daniel and Henderson Cooper: Gender and Narratives of Political Conflict in the Reconstruction-Era U.S. South

Su Fidler Cowling
Soldiers and Sailors (Short Story)

Estelle B. Freedman
The Prison Lesbian: Race, Class, and the Construction of the Aggressive Female Homosexual, 1915-1965

Emily Honig
Women at Farah Revisited: Political Mobilization and Its Aftermath among Chicana Workers in El Paso, Texas, 1972-1992

Down Up
Down Down