Last Updated on February 4, 2016, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 565
Cohen, David. “Gullibility Is Catching.” New Scientist 154, no. 2086 (14 June 1997): 45.
Cohen offers a positive assessment of Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture.
Cott, Nancy F. “A Canon of One's Own.” American Prospect 12, no. 10 (4 June 2001): 46-7.
Cott offers a mixed assessment of Inventing Herself: Claiming a Feminist Intellectual Heritage, concluding that Showalter's “idiosyncratic book” may appeal to the general reader but not to scholars.
Harris, Ruth. Review of The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980, by Elaine Showalter. Signs 15, no. 2 (winter 1990): 408-10.
Harris praises The Female Malady, but argues that Showalter's discussion of “Darwinist psychiatry” and the medical rationale behind the practice of lobotomies is incomplete and flawed.
Heller, Scott. “Scholar Sees Hysteria behind Many Modern Maladies.” Chronicle of Higher Education 43, no. 32 (18 April 1997): A15-A16.
Heller discusses Showalter's controversial assertions about hysteria, presented in The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980 and Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture.
Ignatieff, Michael. “Sergeant Jones's Sleeping-Bag.” London Review of Books 19, no. 14 (17 July 1997): 20-1.
Ignatieff lauds Showalter's investigation in Hystories: Hysterical Epidemics and Modern Culture, but finds shortcomings in her tendency toward exaggeration and excessive psychologizing.
Lystra, Karen. Review of Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle, by Elaine Showalter. Archives of Sexual Behavior 22, no. 6 (December 1993): 647-50.
Lystra offers a positive assessment of Sexual Anarchy.
Moglen, Helene. “Studies of Women.” Yale Review 67, no. 1 (October 1977): 150-57.
Moglen compliments Showalter's scholarship and erudition in A Literature of Their Own, but criticizes her capricious and overly harsh assessments of women authors, such as Virginia Woolf, who failed to live up to Showalter's own feminist standards.
Myslobodsky, Michael S. “Grande Hystérie as the Grand Mentor.” American Journal of Psychology 112, no. 1 (spring 1999): 158-66.
Myslobodsky commends Showalter's challenge to medical psychiatry in Hystories: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980, but finds flaws in her misunderstanding of hysteria and epidemics and her selection of fundamentally unrelated syndromes as the basis of her study.
Scull, Andrew. “Dazeland.” London Review of Books 9, no. 19 (29 October 1987): 14-15.
Scull praises The Female Malady, but notes that Showalter's analysis is occasionally exaggerated and tainted by a romanticized view of madness.
Showalter, Elaine, and Pryde Brown. “Syndrome Syndrome.” Reason 29, no. 3 (July 1997): 21.
Showalter discusses her examination of the concept of hysteria and the media creation of modern psychosomatic illnesses in Hystories: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980.
Showalter, Elaine, and Clarence Bard Cole. “Anarchist in Academia.” Christopher Street 14, no. 12 (23 December 1991): 22-5.
Showalter discusses her analysis of fin-de-siècle culture and sexuality in Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle.
Sutherland, Stuart. “Tales of Memory and Imagination.” Nature 388, no. 6639 (17 July 1997): 239.
Sutherland criticizes Showalter's central argument in Hystories: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830-1980.
Tippett, Maria. “Seven Veils and Umpteen Versions.” London Review of Books 14, no. 2 (30 January 1992): 19-20.
Tippett offers a positive assessment of Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle.
White, Edmund. “When the Genders Got Confused.” Times Literary Supplement, no. 4593 (12 April 1991): 5-6.
White praises Showalter's comparative study of fin-de-siècle gender politics in Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle, but strongly objects to her use of literary criticism, especially sex-obsessed psychoanalytic interpretations, to advance her sociological argument.
Additional coverage of Showalter's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: Contemporary Authors, Vols. 57-60; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vols. 58, 106; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 67; Feminist Writers; Gay and Lesbian Literature, Ed. 2; and Literature Resource Center.
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