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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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Language, Literature, and the Humanities

(p.183) 25 Access to the Universal
The Critical Pulse

Toril Moi

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents the author's account of what she believes in as a literary critic. She says that she believes in the value of language, of literature, and of the humanities, but that women's contributions to these fields continue to be overlooked, undervalued, and neglected. In many parts of the world, women are still denied equal access to learning and education. She argues that as long as man remains the norm and woman the other—the deviation from the norm—males will be taken to represent humanity, and human culture will remain unjust to women. In such a world “language,” “literature,” and the “humanities” will be represented by the words and experiences of men. Thus, feminists have to continue to uncover the traces of women, revalue women's contributions to human culture, and insist that women's point of view be taken into account in every scholarly project.

Keywords:   literary critics, criticism, language, literature, humanities, feminists, women, human culture

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