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Dale Spender Biography

(1943– ), Man Made Language, Invisible Women: The Schooling Scandal

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Souvenirs to St Joan of the Stockyards (Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe)

Australian feminist critic and literary theorist, born in Newcastle, New South Wales, educated at the universities of Sydney, New England, and London. Spender's importance was established with Man Made Language (1980), in which she argued that male cultural dominance extended to a patriarchal bias inherent in spoken and written communication. Among her subsequent works are Invisible Women: The Schooling Scandal (1982), a study of the limitations in women's educational opportunities; There's Always Been a Women's Movement This Century (1983), a social and historical survey based on interviews with leading feminists; Mothers of the Novel (1986), a critical and biographical view of 100 women authors preceding Jane Austen; and Writing a New World (1988), on Australian women writers since the eighteenth century. The Diary of Elizabeth Pepys (1991), of which Spender is ostensibly the editor, entertainingly extends her concern with the centrality of women to social and literary history into the realm of fiction. The numerous publications she has edited include Men's Studies Modified (1981) and An Anthology of British Women Writers (with Janet Todd, 1989).

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