Collection ID: C418
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Collection context


Gubar, Susan, 1944-
The groundbreaking feminist scholar and literary critic, Susan Gubar, began teaching at Indiana University in 1973 and retired as Distinguished Professor Emerita of English in 2010. This collection contains teaching and research material; material related to professional activities such as conferences, workshops, and committees; an extensive collection of news clippings with reviews and interviews; Gubar's publications and information related to the development of those publications, and both personal and professional correspondence.
6.2 cubic feet (7 boxes)
The primary language of the collection is English , though there are a small number of publications in other languages including Italian , Japanese , Korean , Portuguese , and Spanish .
Preferred citation:

[Item], Susan Gubar papers, Collection C418, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.


Biographical / Historical:

Susan Gubar, the esteemed feminist scholar and critic, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944. She began teaching at Indiana University in 1973 after receiving her B.A. from the City University of New York in 1965 and her M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1968. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1972. Gubar also taught at the University of Illinois and at Tufts University. She retired from IU as Distinguished Professor Emerita of English in 2010.

Topics encompassed by Gubar's research and criticism are feminist theory and gender studies, issues related to the Holocaust, critical race studies, and the examination of the role of Judas in the history of Western civilization. During the rise of the women's movement in the 1970s, Gubar sought to develop feminist criticism into a systematic study. Gubar examined literary history, the way in which gender affects literary creativity and considered women's literature in the context of women's culture and place in society. In her publications Gubar endeavored to appeal to a larger general audience outside of academia and involve diverse voices in the critical conversation.

At IU, Gubar taught 19th and 20th century English fiction, freshman introductory courses in literature and composition and graduate courses in feminist studies and Jewish literature. One class in literary interpretation was taught at the Indiana Women's Prison in 1977. In 2006, Gubar became a Special Advisor to the Provost for the Arts and the Humanities at IU.

Gubar published a number of books and articles with her long-time collaborator, the feminist critic and poet, Sandra M. Gilbert, whom she met at IU in 1973. Gilbert retired as Distinguished Professor of English Emerita at the University of California, Davis in 2006. Their joint effort produced many pivotal works, including The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the 19th-Century Literary Imagination (1979), No Man's Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century: The War of the Words (1988), Sexchanges (1989), and Letters from the Front (1994). Gubar and Gilbert also collaborated on the Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English (third edition, 2007) and received a Ms. Woman of the Year award for the publication in 1985.

In addition to a large number of articles, Gubar also authored Racechanges: White Skin, Black Face in American Culture (1997), Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century (2000), Poetry After Auschwitz: Remembering What One Never Knew (2003), Rooms of Our Own (2006), and Judas: A Biography (2009). Gubar worked extensively as an editor; among her edited works is the first annotated edition of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (2005).

Gubar won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and nominations for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Award for The Madwoman in the Attic. At IU, Gubar was awarded an AMOCO Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1986 and a President's Medal for Excellence in 2010. In 2011 she became a faculty fellow of the American Philosophical Society.

Gubar's husband, Donald J. Gray, retired as Professor Emeritus and Culbertson Chair Emeritus of English at IU in 1998. Susan was previously married to Edward Gubar, Director, Publications and Undergraduate Grant Program, Hutton Honors College at IU. Prior to his work with the Hutton Honors College, Edward Gubar was a faculty member in the School of Journalism for more than twenty years. Susan and Edward had two daughters, Molly (Marah) and Simone.

Scope and Content:

With materials which range from 1975 through 2010, the Susan Gubar papers are organized into three series: Biographical, Publications, and Teaching and professional activities.

The first series, Biographical (1975-2011), is further organized into two subseries. The first subseries, Awards and honors (1975-2011), includes certificates, plaques, and accolades Gubar received from IU, Princeton University, and the University of Iowa while other files document her retirement from IU in 2010. The second subseries, General (1981-2009), contains several books which cite Gubar's publications, one of which was written by a former student of Gubar and is in Japanese. The subseries also includes reviews and analysis of her work as well as a family memoir written by Gubar's mother Luise David. This subseries contains the Ms. magazine from 1986 naming Gubar and Sandra M. Gilbert Woman of the Year.

The second series, Publications (1976-2010), includes Gubar's published works and is divided into three subseries. Arranged alphabetically, the first subseries, Monographs (1979-2009), includes books authored, co-authored, or edited by Gubar and books written or edited by others to which she contributed an essay or other critical section. Some of these materials contain hand-written notes by Gubar. Foreign language versions of Gubar's books are inter-filed with the English language publications. The second subseries, Journal articles (1976-2010), is arranged chronologically and contains a large number of journals that include her essays, as well as offprints and photocopies of articles written by Gubar. The third and last subseries, Unpublished manuscripts (circa 2000, 2010), contains three unpublished manuscripts.

The third series, Teaching and professional activities (1975-2010), is comprised of two subseries. The first subseries, Teaching notes and materials (1975-2008), contains syllabi, study guides, bibliographies, readings, correspondence and planning materials related to undergraduate and graduate courses Gubar taught and lecture series she helped organize at IU. The second subseries, Subject and name files (1975-2010), contains a diverse variety of documents kept in the original order maintained by Gubar. Materials related to her professional activities aside from teaching are found in this series, such as contracts, letters of agreement, grant applications, and committee and conference planning documents. Clippings and reviews of Gubar's publications and responses to her writing are incorporated with correspondence with other writers, colleagues, and friends. There is also a large amount of correspondence with editors, publishers, and other parties concerning the development and publication of her work. A large body of images considered for reproduction in Gubar's books was transferred to the Archives photographs collection. Consult the Archives Curator of Photographs for further information.

Acquisition information:
Accession numbers 2010/070, 2011/094.
Custodial history:

Papers deposited with the IU Archives by Susan Gubar in 2010.

Processing information:

Processed by Eliza Sparacino.

Completed in 2011.


The collection is organized into three series: Biographical, Publications, and Teaching and professional activities.



Three unpublished manuscripts are closed for research at this time. These are indicated in the folder list.

Advance notice required for access to collection.


The donor(s) of this collection have transferred their copyrights for the materials to the Trustees of Indiana University through a Deed of Gift. For more information, please contact the Indiana University Archives staff.

The Indiana University Archives respects the intellectual property rights of others and does not claim any copyrights for non-university records, materials in the public domain, or materials for which we do not hold a Deed of Gift. Responsibility for the determination of the copyright status of these materials rests with those persons wishing to reuse the materials. Researchers are responsible for securing permission from copyright owners and any other rights holders for any reuse of these materials that extends beyond fair use or other statutory limitations.

Digital reproductions of archival materials from the Indiana University Archives are made available for noncommercial educational and research purposes only. If you are the copyright holder for any of the digitized materials and have questions about its inclusion on our site, please contact the Indiana University Archivist.


[Item], Susan Gubar papers, Collection C418, Indiana University Archives, Bloomington.

Indiana University Bloomington
Herman B Wells Library E460
1320 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000, United States
Indiana University Bloomington