Sainsbury to give Faculty Colloquium talk

Professor Alison Sainsbury’s will present her Faculty Colloquium talk, titled “Women’s Domestic Humor and ‘The Problem That Has No Name,’ or, How My Aunt Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Home,” this Friday, November 4, at 4 PM in CNS 101.

In her talk, Dr. Sainsbury will speak about her aunt, Kay Nelson, a writer of domestic humor who was a regular contributor to magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Look, and Good Housekeeping in the same era in which Betty Friedan published her groundbreaking feminist book The Feminine Mystique.  A piece by her aunt appeared, in fact, in the same issue of Good Housekeeping in which Friedan published the first excerpt of The Feminine Mystique.

“Even had my aunt’s work not so neatly overlapped in that issue of Good Housekeeping with Friedan’s challenge to assumptions about women’s so-called natural role and place in the home,” says Dr. Sainsbury, “my aunt’s time as a working writing and the subject and genre of her writing–the foibles of life in just such middle-class suburban households as Friedan anatomizes in her book–would still place her and her work squarely into this gathering energy of second-wave feminism….My contention is that looking at my aunt’s work and her correspondence with her editor leads us to a more nuanced and complex reading of both the literary genre of women’s domestic humor and the issues at play in Friedan’s book.”

The event is free and open to the public.  Please come join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk.

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