Casey, Janet, A New Heartland: Women, Modernity, and the Agrarian Ideal in America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Touching on such diverse subjects as eugenics, reproductive rights, advertising, the economy of literary prizes, and the role of the camera, A New Heartland demonstrates the importance of rurality to the imaginative construction of modernism/modernity. It also argues that women, as objects of scrutiny as well as agents of critique, had a special stake in that relation. Specifically, it shows how women appropiated discourses and images of rurality to interrogate the problems of modernity, imbuing the rural--traditionally seen as a locus of conservatism--with a progressive political valence. Chapters cover the position of women in rural-social theory and cultural criticism; the significance of The Farmer's Wife, the only nationally published agrarain periodical for women; the role of women and the farm in best-selling fiction; women's use of farm settings in radical fiction; and the rural photography of Doris Ulmann and Marion Post.

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