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Showalter, Elaine

Elaine Showalter, professor emeritus at Princeton University, revolutionized the field of feminist literary theory with the publication of A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing (1978), “Toward a Feminist Poetics” (1979), and “Feminist Criticism in the Wilderness” (1981), among other seminal texts. With Feminist Poetics, she established the field of gynocriticism-a mode of literary theory that seeks to examine women as writers by interrogating the history, themes, genres, structures, and other features of literature by women.

Education and Career

Elaine Cottler was born in 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father worked in the wool business and her mother was a housewife. Her parents disowned her when she married English Showalter in 1962. The Showalters have two children: Michael Showalter and ...

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