How do gender and race become objects of intellectual inquiry? What happens to marginal discourses when they participate in the academic processes of scrutiny and evaluation? In Women Intellectuals, Modernism, and Difference, Alice Gambrell examines the careers of a group of women intellectuals - Leonora Carrington, Ella Deloria, H. D., Zora Neale Hurston, and Frida Kahlo - whose scholarly rediscovery coincided with the rise of feminist and minority discourse studies in the academy. She examines the exhibitions, memoirs, poems, ethnographies, and personal correspondences these women produced, combining concrete local observation with contemporary theoretical perspectives on race and gender. Through a mixture of empirical detail and theoretical speculation, Gambrell explores the role these women played in expanding the conception of American literature by their involvement in the Harlem Renaissance. She offers new ways of thinking about the relationships between cultural studies, feminism and minority discourse within the ongoing reassessment of modernism.
"Gambrell's book is short but ambitious. There is muchto be said about these female figures and their male interlocutors; and it is a testament to the merit of Gambrell's text that one finishes it wishing for more." Barbara Will, American Literature