Feminist Historiography and Ethics

A Case Study from Victorian Britain


This essay is concerned with a central historiographical issue emerging from writing feminist history within second-wave feminism, and after the ‘linguistic turn’. How should the feminist historian present past women’s lives and work in relation to this revolutionary movement in which she or he is situated, and which women should she or he make visible? That historiographical issue is also an ethical issue, as it is concerned with the question of what historians ‘should’ do. My argument is, however, that for feminist historians both the historiographical and the ethical meet in the political more often than not. My discussion works with a concept of ethics which is predicated on the central feminist principles of making women visible in history, and offering a sceptical critique of the structures within which they are positioned as historical agents or actors.


Moral Philosophy Feminist Activism Woman Writer Theatre Practitioner Discursive Construction 
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© Katherine Newey 2016

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