Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams

Hardback or cased
Maurice Hamington
Published 11 Aug 2010
List Price £70.95

Only available to back order


“This well-crafted collection of essays recognizes Jane Addams as the inspiring and occasionally provocative feminist she was. Connecting Addams’s pragmatism to social theory, political philosophy, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and more, the book’s twelve authors sympathetically and critically explore Addams’s ongoing relevance to issues of art, culture, sexuality, prostitution, religion, cosmopolitanism, public/private divisions, and community organization. Scholarly experts on Addams, as well as those discovering her feminist pragmatism for the first time, will find this volume valuable.”

—Shannon Sullivan, The Pennsylvania State University

“Maurice Hamington has brought together an exciting, readable, and intellectually challenging group of articles on Jane Addams. The holistic approach of several essays highlights Addams’s own views, which linked people’s well-being, human rights, women’s equality, democracy, and world peace. The collection will delight Addams’s admirers and enlighten her detractors.”

—Harriet Alonso, City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center

Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams forms a valuable resource for scholars interested in pragmatism and feminism but crucially also constitutes an instance of canonical re-reading, which lovers of philosophy more generally benefit from.”

—Clara Fischer, The Pluralist

Although Jane Addams’s Twenty Years at Hull-House is considered an American classic, her dozen books and hundreds of published articles have sometimes been thought of as quaint examples of an overly optimistic era. Beginning in the 1990s, feminist scholars rediscovered the vitality of Addams’s social philosophy and challenged the marginalization of her ideas. Today, following a war-laden twentieth century and the failure of militarism and “get tough” approaches to solve domestic and global problems, Addams’s social theorizing, which emphasizes cosmopolitan experiences and sympathetic connections, provides a provocative alternative to Western notions of individualism, transactional relations, and spectator epistemology. Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams brings together many of the leading Addams scholars in North America to consider Addams’s ongoing relevance to feminist thought.

Aside from the editor, the contributors are Victoria Bissell Brown, Marilyn Fischer, Judith M. Green, Shannon Jackson, Katherine Joslin, Louise W. Knight, L. Ryan Musgrave Bonomo, Wendy Sarvasy, Charlene Haddock Seigfried, Eleanor J. Stebner, and Judy D. Whipps.




Part 1: Culture and Art

1. Reading Jane Addams in the Twenty-first Century

Katherine Joslin

2. Cultural Contradictions: Jane Addams’s Struggles with the Life of Art and the Art of Life

Charlene Haddock Seigfried

3. Trojan Women and Devil Baby Tales: Addams on Domestic Violence

Marilyn Fischer

4. Addams’s Philosophy of Art: Feminist Aesthetics and Moral Imagination at Hull House

L. Ryan Musgrave Bonomo

Part 2: Sex and Society

5. Sex and the City: Jane Addams Confronts Prostitution

Victoria Bissell Brown

6. Toward a Queer Social Welfare Studies: Unsettling Jane Addams

Shannon Jackson

7. Love on Halsted Street: A Contemplation on Jane Addams

Louise W. Knight

Part 3: Religion and Politics

8. The Theology of Jane Addams: Religion “Seeking Its Own Adjustment”

Eleanor J. Stebner

9. Social Democracy, Cosmopolitan Hospitality, and Intercivilizational Peace: Lessons from Jane Addams

Judith M. Green

10. Community Organizing: Addams and Alinsky

Maurice Hamington

11. Examining Addams’s Democratic Theory Through a Postcolonial Feminist Lens

Judy D. Whipps

12. Engendering Democracy by Socializing It: Jane Addams’s Contribution to Feminist Political Theorizing

Wendy Sarvasy

Selected Bibliography

List of Contributors


Maurice Hamington is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Philosophy at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

A collection of articles that address Jane Addams (1860-1935) in terms of her contribution to feminist philosophy and theory through her work on culture, art, sex, society, religion, and politics.