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.