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Barr, Marleen S

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Critic.

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(1953-    ) US academic, feminist theorist and author, who received a Pilgrim Award in 1997 for her work in applying the arguments and insights of Feminism in general and to sf in particular. Her first anthology devoted to this project, Future Females: A Critical Anthology (anth 1981), marked out the territory that she (and other critics like Joanna Russ) had begun to explore and elucidate, with especially conspicuous success in the delineation of "patriarchal discourse" in sf. Her own Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction (1992) effectively consolidated her presentation of these issues, and her later work began to branch out into topics like Afrofuturism and the often fraught relationship between sf and "the literary", particularly as understood in the context of cultural studies. This latter pursuit also became a major focus of the important special topic issue of PMLA, Science Fiction and Literary Studies: The Next Millennium (anth 2004), which Barr coedited with Carl Freedman and introduced herself. Her own comic sf novel, Oy Pioneer! (2003), follows a feminist sf critic named Sondra Lear who acquires a Fulbright Scholarship that takes her into outer space; Barr's own Fulbright lectureships carried her only as far as Germany. A follow-up is Oy Feminist Planets: A Fake Memoir (2015). After receiving her PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Barr went on to teach at multiple schools in the New York City area and elsewhere, including Fordham University. She currently teaches at the City University of New York. [JC/TSM]

Marleen Sandra Barr

born New York: 1 March 1953




works as editor


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