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Me and My Shadow by Jane Tompkins

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Işıl Özdemir

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Me and My Shadow by Jane Tompkins

"Me and My Shadow"
by Jane Tompkins

Background information about the author and the essay
1st Voice
2nd Voice
Jane Tompkins
- professor of English at Duke University (North Carolina, USA)
- married to Stanley Fish, a leading figure in critical theory from the States.
Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism
Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction
- essay "Me and My Shadow" (1987)
-> critic on Ellen Messner-Davidow's
1st Voice
- Public-Private Dichotomy:
founding conditions of female oppressions

- Patriarchal Ideology:
"Western epistemology [...] is shaped by the belief that emotion should be excluded from the process of attaining knowlegde." (p.123)

- Confused Notion of Epistemology
The interest for reading and what triggers it
Personal vs. impersonal
The anger
The degredation of women
Why is Theory important?
2 voices to clarify her point of view:

- 1st: theoretical point of view (critic)
- 2nd: hidden inner voice of women
(referring to feelings/emotions)

2nd Voice

"The voice of a person who wants to write about her feelings."

Epistemology subjective
Knowledge culturally based

Mother Tongue : expecting an answer, connecting
Father Tongue : not reasoning but distancing

Feminist Criticism and Theory, WS 2013

Sharon Dana, Isil Özdemir
Jelena Marisavljevic

Discussion Questions
What do you think about personal feelings in literary criticism?
Do you think it is possible to get one's message across without including one's own thoughts?
Full transcript