[Review]. Gendering Library History, edited by Evelyn Kerslake and Nickianne Moody

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James V. Carmichael, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: In spite of its off-putting title, this important collection, representing papers given by English and American scholars in England in May 1999 at a conference by the same name, at long last answers some questions about the status of women in librarianship in the otherwise most familiar of Western European countries. As for the title, besides this reviewer's antipathy for making verbs out of nouns, it promises a bit more than it delivers. If "sex" describes a binary (male/female) or at most, if one adds hermaphrodites, and the two trans-gendered possibilities, a five-sided biological phenomenon, then "gender" implies social roles and constructions based upon sex. While not all or even a majority of the essays go beyond the description of inequalities in the profession based upon sex to discuss gender roles, they do include aspects of sex not normally covered in a collection of this kind, namely, sexual minorities and men's studies. The interdisciplinary aspects of discussions that followed the papers, referred to in the acknowledgments section, are not reflected in the content of the majority of papers. On considering one wearisome Foucauldian exercise in postmodern terminology (31-39), this may be a blessing; expanding our knowledge of women in library history abroad alone would justify the collection.

Additional Information

Libraries & Culture 37 (Spring): 197-200.
Language: English
Date: 2002
Gender, Librarianship, Sexual minorities, Library history

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