Monday, December 4th, 2017...10:46 pmstruzena

Introduction and Thesis

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The literature of the Celtic Revival and the Harlem Renaissance both use prose and poetry to depict the desires of social and political change. Looking through the lens of sexuality between these two movements, attitudes towards sex and women are uncovered and represent the greater social beliefs towards gender equality at this time. Looking at male writers from the Harlem Renaissance, their depictions of women focalize on the female body. This form of objectification removes women’s agency in their sexuality. In contrast, female writers of the Harlem Renaissance illustrate women’s emotional range and self awareness, giving them control over their sexuality, highlighting desires of both gender and racial equality at this time. These two points of view depict the overall goal for social change from this movement to remove the stigma of African American sexuality. The Harlem Renaissance embraces sexuality, however, the works of female writers specifically, illustrate a progressive view of sexuality that represents gender equality and normalizes female desire. In contrast, Celtic Revival authors discretely write of sexuality in their works and focalize more on women’s roles in the suffragette movement. Thesis: Female Harlem Renaissance writers depict women’s sexaulity as an element of humanity, restoring agency, emotional depth, and ownership of their sexuality which contrasts with male writer’s objectifications of women which although celebrates sex, does not humanize women. In contrast, authors of the Celtic Revival refrain from sexuality altogether and focus on women’s involvement with the suffragette movements in Ireland. Overall, illustrating the disparities between the focuses of these two movements as the Celtic Revival focuses on political change and the Harlem Renaissance focuses on social change.


  • I think women’s suffrage is a really interesting approach to talk about sexuality. I just have a few questions about your anthology. In what ways did the Celtic Revival address women’s sexuality? Furthermore, is your anthology going to critic the movement and label this “discreteness” as a flaw?

  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Leah–a couple overstatements in this post, but I know from talking with you that you’ve already sharpened your project. Keep going!

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