Womanist intellectuals : developing a tradition

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lucindy A. Willis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Mary Ellis Gibson

Abstract: This study traces a womanist intellectual tradition, beginning in early Victorian England and ending in late twentieth-century America. Prominent studies on the public intellectual have excluded women from their discussions, and in recent years there has been an attempt to co-opt women into the Victorian sage tradition. This study presents an alternative intellectual tradition for women, which I term womanist. Womanist intellectuals cannot be traced through a mother/daughter line, but through what Virginia Blain describes as the aunt/niece paradigm, a lineage which allows for "gaps, omissions, forgettings, and suppressions," while simultaneously revealing fascinating "intertextual relationships" and patterns between women intellectuals of different centuries and cultures. In general, womanist intellectuals share the following characteristics: 1) a position of marginality; 2) an interest in border-crossing; 3) a non-hierarchical relationship with their audience; 4) a journey toward self-redefinition; 5) a purpose, which is to speak the truth to power.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1996
Women intellectuals

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