"The location of the author’s investigations, the body itself rather than the sphere of subjective representations of self and of function in cultures, is wholly new.... I believe this work will be a landmark in future feminist thinking." —Alphonso Lingis "This is a text of rare erudition and intellectual force. It will not only introduce feminists to an enriching set of theoretical perspectives but sets a high critical standard for feminist dialogues on the status of the body." —Judith Butler Volatile (...) Bodies demonstrates that the sexually specific body is socially constructed: biology or nature is not opposed to or in conflict with culture. Human biology is inherently social and has no pure or natural "origin" outside of culture. Being the raw material of social and cultural organization, it is "incomplete" and thus subject to the endless rewriting and social inscription that constitute all sign systems. Examining the theories of Freud, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, etc. on the subject of the body, Elizabeth Grosz concludes that the body they theorize is male. These thinkers are not providing an account of "human" corporeality but of male corporeality. Grosz then turns to corporeal experiences unique to women—menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, menopause. Her examination of female experience lays the groundwork for developing theories of sexed corporeality rather than merely rectifying flawed models of male theorists. (shrink)
Introducing the work of three French feminists - Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray and Michele L Doeuff -Sexual Subversions provides access to the work of these writers. In doing so this book raises some key issues of relevance to feminist research, addressing debates around the nature of feminist theory; the relationship between feminist thinking theory; the relationship between feminist thinking and male-dominated areas of knowledge; the strategies appropriate for developing non-patriarchal or woman-centered knowledges. No book on French feminists would be complete (...) without including the contributions of Kristeva and Irigaray. The inclusion of Le Doeuff's work, which brings a different perspective to bear on the question of sexual difference, provides a counterbalance to literary appropriations of French feminism by Anglo-American readerships. Kristeva, Irigaray and Le Doeuff are the focal points of this study, precisely because each highlights the differences of the others, revealing the frameworks to which the others are committed. Nevertheless, while these writers do not present a common political or theoretical position or form a school, each does address the question of women's autonomy from male definition, affirms the sexual specificity of women, seeks out a femininity women can use to question the patriarchal norms and ideals of femininity and rejects the preordained positions patriarchy allots to woman. This book is intended for students and researchers in women's studies, philosophy and feminism. (shrink)
Marking a ground-breaking moment in the debate surrounding bodies and "body politics," Elizabeth Grosz's Space, Time and Perversion contends that only by resituating and rethinking the body will feminism and cultural analysis effect and unsettle the knowledges, disciplines and institutions which have controlled, regulated and managed the body both ideologically and materially. Exploring the fields of architecture, philosophy, and--in a controversial way--queer theory, Grosz shows how these fields have conceptually stripped bodies of their specificity, their corporeality, and the vestigal traces (...) of their production as bodies. Her tour de corpe investigates the work of Michel Foucault, Teresa de Lauretis, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler and Alphonso Lingis. Grosz considers their work by examining the ways in which the functioning of bodies transforms understandings of space and time, knowledge and desire. Begining with an exposition of the epistemological implications of bodily and sexual difference, Grosz examines the effects such knowledge have on the reception of meaning. She looks at the relationship between the knowledge of difference and the way that knowledge validates, affirms, avows and valorizes subjects. Grosz then extends this analysis to an investigation of the relationship between space, time, bodies and the spatial "arts" such as architecuture, urban planning and geography. In the last section, Grosz moves toward a radical consideration of bodies and their relationship to transgression and perversity. Controversially showing the ways in which "queer" theory fails to offer a truly transformative conception of bodies and their politics, Grosz finds "queer" a reactive category "which sees itself in opposition to a straight norm and thus defines itself in terms of this norm." Consequentially, "queer" theory inherits the acceptance of an entire range of sexual practices, without "asking what they share and without taking into account the profound tension that may exist among these practices." Grosz's Space, Time and Perversity is a diverse and incisive collection of essays from a renowned feminist philosopher. (shrink)
Darwinian matters : life, force and change -- Biological difference -- The evolution of sex and race -- Nietzsche's Darwin -- History and the untimely -- The eternal return and the overman -- Bergsonian differences -- The philosophy of life -- Intuition and the virtual -- The future.
Darwin and feminism: preliminary investigations into a possible alliance -- Darwin and the ontology of life -- The Nature of culture -- Law, justice, and the future -- The Time of violence: Derrida, deconstruction, and value -- Drucilla Cornell, identity, and the "Evolution" of Politics -- Philosophy, knowledge, and the future -- Deleuze, Bergson, and the virtual -- Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, and the question of ontology -- The thing -- Prosthetic objects -- Identity, sexual difference, and the future -- The Time (...) of thought -- The Force of sexual difference -- (Inhuman) forces: power, pleasure, and desire -- The future of female sexuality. (shrink)
Instead of treating art as a unique creation that requires reason and refined taste to appreciate, Elizabeth Grosz argues that art-especially architecture, music, and painting-is born from the disruptive forces of sexual selection.
The inhuman in the humanities : Darwin and the ends of man -- Deleuze, Bergson, and the concept of life -- Bergson, Deleuze, and difference -- Feminism, materialism, and freedom -- The future of feminist theory : dreams for new knowledges -- Differences disturbing identity : Deleuze and feminism -- Irigaray and the ontology of sexual difference -- Darwin and the split between natural and sexual selection -- Sexual difference as sexual selection : Irigarayan reflections on Darwin -- Art and (...) the animal -- Living art and the art of life : women's painting from the western desert. (shrink)
Grosz gives a critical overview of Lacan's work from a feminist perspective. Discussing previous attempts to give a feminist reading of his work, she argues for women's autonomy based on an indifference to the Lacanian phallus.
Habit has been understood, through the work of Descartes, Kant and Sartre, as a form of mechanism that arrests and inhibits consciousness, thought and freedom. This article addresses the concept of habit through a different tradition that links it instead to an ever-moving world. In a world of constant change, habits are not so much forms of fixity and repetition as they are modes of encounter materiality and life. Habit is the point of transition between living beings and matter, enabling (...) each to be transformed through its engagement with the other. The article focuses on the work of Ravaisson, Bergson and Deleuze, who understand habit as fundamentally creative and addressed to the future rather than consolidating the past. Habit, within this tradition, is the opening of materiality to the forms of engagement required by life, and the modification of life imposed by the requirements of a material universe. It is open-ended plasticity. (shrink)
This article is an interview with Elizabeth Grosz by Kathryn Yusoff and Nigel Clark. It primarily addresses Grosz’s approaches to ‘geopower’, and the discussion encompasses an exploration of her ideas on biopolitics, inhuman forces and material experimentation. Grosz describes geopower as a force that subtends the possibility of politics. The interview is accompanied by a brief contextualizing introduction examining the themes of geophilosophy and the inhumanities in Grosz’s work.
Through an examination of a variety of cultural forms and texts, Sexy Bodies investigates the ways in which sexual bodies, sexual practices and sexualities are produced.Are bodies sexy? How? In what sorts of ways? Sexy Bodies investigates the production of sexual bodies and sexual practices, of sexualities which are dyke, bi, transracial, and even hetero. It celebrates lesbian and queer sexualities but also explores what runs underneath and within all sexualities, discovering what is fundamentally weird and strange about all bodies, (...) all carnalities.Looking at a pleasurable variety of cultural forms and texts, the contributors consider the particular charms of girls and horses, from National Velvet to Marnie; discuss figures of the lesbian body from vampires to tribades to tomboys; uncover 'virtual' lesbians in the fiction of Jeanette Winterson; track desire in the music of legendary Blues singers; and investigate the ever-scrutinised and celebrated body of Elizabeth Taylor. The collection includes two important pieces of fiction by Mary Fallon and Nicole Brossard. (shrink)
This article will examine the phase of Nishida’s thought in which he turns to the historical world and present the benefits of this turn to his overall philosophical project. In “The Philosophy of History in the ‘Later’ Nishida,” Woo-Sung Huh claims that Nishida Kitaro’s attempt to integrate history into his earlier writings on self-consciousness is a “wrong turn.” I will demonstrate how Huh’s criticism of Nishida’s writings on history stems from Huh’s own ontological assumption that consciousness and the historical world (...) occupy distinct realms. Leveling this criticism against Nishida causes the reader to miss Nishida’s greatest insight, namely that there is no such distinction; there is only one reality of consciousness and materiality. Nishida’s emphasis on the historical world makes his earlier claim that consciousness is inseparable from things more robust. I will argue that by expanding his earlier focus on consciousness to include the formative power of created physical objects and human bodies on consciousness, Nishida’s philosophy is actually strengthened. (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a reassessment of the question of sexual difference, taking into account important shifts in feminist thought, post-humanist theories, and queer studies. The contributors offer new and refreshing insights into the complex question of sexual difference from a post-feminist perspective, and how it is reformulated in various related areas of study, such as ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, biology, technology, and mass-media.
Encounters with Alphonso Lingis is the first extensive study of this American philosopher who is gaining an international reputation to augment his national one. The distinguished contributors to this volume address most of the central themes found in Lingis's writings—including singularity and otherness, death and eroticism, emotions and rationality, embodiment and the face, excess and the sacred. The book closes with a new essay by Lingis himself.
Feminist Time Against Nation Time offers a series of essays that explore the complex and oftentimes contradictory relationship between feminism and nationalism through a problematization of contemporality. The collection pursues the following questions: how do the specific temporalities of nationalism and war limit and delimit public spaces in which dissent might happen; and how might we account for the often contradictory and ambiguous relationship of "feminism" and "nationalism" through an exploration of the problem of time?