Creolizing Place, Origin, and Difference: The Opaque Waters between Glissant and Irigaray

Hypatia 37 (4):765-783 (2022)
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Abstract

This article brings Édouard Glissant's theory of creolization into critical conversation with Luce Irigaray's sexuate difference theory and suggests creolization as a process capable of reconfiguring place and origin. Such a creolized conception, the article suggests, fissures narratives of legitimacy, possession, and lawful order, pseudo-claims utilized to dismiss antiracist protests. The article traces Irigaray's critique of woman as place and origin with her conception of the interval. It examines how Glissant's analysis of the womb-abyss clarifies and strategically obscures racialization as an ongoing lacuna in Western thought. By deploying a rhizomatic network of relayed traces, the essay examines Glissantian notions of chaos, trembling, and detour to articulate sociopolitical movements that reveal and undermine the sexual economy of the neo-Plantation. Both thinkers, the author suggests, bring together place, origin, and movement to construct two radically different but strategically valuable theories that have yet to be put in a sustained, critical conversation. By positioning each theorist within their own framework, discourse, and socio-ethical concerns, the author offers ways that creolization and sexuate difference theory clarify issues contemporary American feminism tends to gesture toward as “intersectional” issues of gender, sex, and race.

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Ruthanne Kim
St. Cloud State University

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