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Elizabeth Fox-Genovese (1941–2007)

Forfatter af Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South

21+ Værker 924 Medlemmer 8 Anmeldelser 2 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese is Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities at Emory University, where she was founding director of Women's Studies.

Omfatter også følgende navne: Fox-Genovese, E. Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

Image credit: Women for Faith & Family


Værker af Elizabeth Fox-Genovese

Women and the Future of the Family (2000) 32 eksemplarer

Associated Works

The Awakening [Norton Critical Edition, 1st ed.] (1976) — Bidragyder — 825 eksemplarer
Lamb in His Bosom (1933) — Efterskrift, nogle udgaver275 eksemplarer
Women and Texas History: Selected Essays (1993) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver18 eksemplarer
The Evolution of Southern Culture (1988) — Bidragyder — 17 eksemplarer
The New Salmagundi Reader (1996) — Bidragyder — 3 eksemplarer

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Almen Viden

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris
Bryn Mawr College
Harvard University
Genovese, Eugene D. (husband)
Fox, Edward Whiting (father)
Emory University
Priser og hædersbevisninger
National Humanities Medal (2003)
Kort biografi
Elizabeth Ann Fox was born to a family of mixed ethnicities and religions. Her father Edward Whiting Fox, a Cornell professor who specialized in the history of modern Europe, was Protestant and of English and Scotch-Irish descent. Her mother Elizabeth Mary Simon Fox, was Jewish from a German-Jewish immigrant family. Elizabeth received a B.A. in French and history in 1963 from Bryn Mawr and studied at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris. She earned an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in history at Harvard. She taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton and the University of Rochester. In 1969, she married fellow historian Eugene D. Genovese, with whom she founded the journal Marxist Perspectives and sometimes co-wrote works. In 1986, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese began teaching history at Emory University, where she was named the Eleonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities. She founded the Institute for Women's Studies, which she served as director until 1991, and started the first doctoral program in women's studies in the USA. Her original academic interest had been French history, but she changed to the history of women in the pre-Civil War Southern USA. Among her works were on the subject were Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South (1988) and To Be Worthy of God’s Favor: Southern Women’s Defense and Critique of Slavery (1993). Elizabeth Fox-Genovese also wrote scholarly and popular works on feminism. In 1995, she converted to the Roman Catholicism faith. After her death in 2007, her husband published a tribute to his wife, Miss Betsey: A Memoir of Marriage.



There’s an extraordinary amount of information in this book that was new to me regarding the specifics of plantation life. I highly recommend it for history buffs who want to gain a true and accurate understanding of what it was like. However, it bothered me how conflictual the author was about the topic. Generally, on the one hand, she well-described the utter brutality of “slave owning “ women towards their slaves but, on the other hand there was an implication of her sympathy for the women slaveowners.… (mere)
joyfulmimi | 4 andre anmeldelser | Apr 28, 2023 |
Scholarly book that documents memories, thoughts, and feelings of plantation mistresses and slaves prior to the Civil War.
MWMLibrary | 4 andre anmeldelser | Jan 14, 2022 |
I read this book because I was interested in a sociological study of why women who otherwise believe in equality so frequently say things like, "I'm not a feminist, but..." I identify as a feminist so I find it odd that so many women don't. This book promised to explain to me why.

It doesn't, if you're wondering. Rather, Fox-Genovese makes a number of unsupported claims about what feminists say or think (as though it is a 100% monolithic community too) and then identify why some people don't agree with those things. Here are a few examples from the first chapter alone:

"Feminists accuse the religious right of trying to dictate what a woman should be... meanwhile these same feminists practice the very thing they preach against." No examples given. No quotes from her fieldwork. Nothing.

"Feminist indifference, if not hostility, to men and families" Examples? No.

Perhaps at the time this book was written, these things were clear, but they certainly aren't now. And it is sociologically suspect to make these claim without referring to examples or fieldwork, especially when the whole book is premised on her conducting fieldwork with women to find out about these attitudes.

First and second wave feminism have been rightly criticized for being racially exclusionary. This does not appear in this book other than in passing.

There are sociologists who use fieldwork to get to the heart of problems and illustrate why people behave the way they do. Kathryn Edin, for instance, wrote a seminal text on why low-income women choose to have children outside of marriage -- a phenomenal study that I highly recommend, [Promises I Can Keep]. Fox-Genovese could have done this, but her biases get in the way.

I should also note that there is a bizarre frequency of pro-life propaganda in this book, seemingly based on the fact that Fox-Genovese could not have children, which I found very off-putting. I would be very willing to read a book in which the reasons that otherwise progressive women choose to be pro-life, in order to understand that position; this book does not do that. Rather, it makes the pro-life position the default and accuses feminists of being monstrous extremists on the issue -- with no explanations why.

This is not sociology. I can't recommend it.
… (mere)
sparemethecensor | Jul 4, 2014 |
An account of the lives of antebellum slave owning women and black slaves within the plantation household setting. Fox-Genovese uses primarily diaries and letters as her source material to recreate the women's' culture of this particular environment.

In the Prologue, she shows that elite white women are able to develop an identity because they had intense and uninterrupted familial ties and networks of friends to buoy them up in hard times (p. 11). Much of this identity, however, was dependant upon the support given them by their husbands. This is at least the case with Sarah Gayle (p. 12).

Slave-holding was a very important source of the sense of self for women like Sarah Gayle. Despite the close bonds which Sarah develops with Mike and Rose, two of her slaves (p. 26), the proximity of living conditions also led to friction, as was the case with Hampton (p. 23). Sarah Gayle benefited from the slave system. Likeable though she was, she was complicit in maintaining the slaveocracy (p. 27).

Suzanne Lebsock, "Complicity and Contention: Women in the Plantation South," Georgia Historical Quarterly, LXXIV (1990), 59-83; and reply by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, pp. 369-371.

Lebsock finds untold contradictions in Fox-Genovese's logic. She finds her sources and scope all too limited for the conclusions drawn (p. 62). She dismisses her "theory of identity" for black women as ambiguous (p. 66). The biggest problem, though, is her simplistic thinking on where white slave-holding women stood on slavery (p. 73). She has subjected these poor women to an unreasonable test of "ideological purity" (p. 75), and as a result missed the nuanced moral struggle that people like Mary Chestnut had with the idea of slavery in favor of the "honorary man" Louisa McCord (p. 78). Women responded to slavery in a way that was different from men. That is true for both white and black women. Gender is a useful category, if one that needs to be employed with greater subtlety when class loyalties and race come into play.
… (mere)
mdobe | 4 andre anmeldelser | Jul 24, 2011 |


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