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Gathers authors with different backgrounds and methods to advance feminist discussions of the relation between language and women's oppression, suggesting promising new directions for further research.
Presenting new and important scholarship in feminist language theory, this book addresses issues within diverse traditions, bringing together feminist positions, strategies, and styles in an original way. Gathering together authors with different backgrounds and methods, Language and Liberation puts this diverse scholarship into dialogue.
The questions and concerns reflected in these essays are presented within the context of their historical background, provided by the editors' comprehensive Introduction. These questions include: Is there a distinction between "female" and "male" language? What is the relationship of feminine/feminist identity to language? What is the value of metaphor for feminist theory and practice?
"This book not only takes on the questions of the political effectiveness of feminist interventions into the use of language, but also presents an eclectic range of approaches which makes the connections and disconnections among these approaches more apparent. It both sharpens the terms of the debate about how and whether the question of language is relevant to a feminist project, and presents evocative points of convergence and divergence on this issue in present feminist theory. These essays are seasoned responses by feminists who clearly know their material and have given this issue a lot of thought. This energy and commitment comes through in their writing." -- Tamsin Lorraine, Swarthmore College
"As the editors set out in the Introduction, the question of the relationship between language use and women's status is central both to academic feminism and the feminist movement. The issue receives close and continuing attention in several disciplines besides philosophy, including English and foreign languages, linguistics, women's studies, history, sociology, and anthropology. Each of the essays provides insights and makes contributions of intellectual importance." -- Susan C. Jarratt, Miami University
At the University of Texas at Austin, Christina Hendricks is a doctoral candidate in Philosophy and Kelly Oliver is Associate Professor in Philosophy. Oliver is the author of Family Values: Subjects Between Nature and Culture; Womanizing Nietzsche: Philosophy's Relation to "the Feminine"; and Reading Kristeva: Unraveling the Double-Bind. She is also the editor of The Portable Kristeva and Ethics, Politics and Difference in the Writing of Julia Kristeva.
Table of Contents
Introduction: How to Do (Feminist) Things With Words
Christina Hendricks and Kelly Oliver
Part One: The Power of Words: Changing Meanings, Changing Social Spaces
1. Derogatory Terms: Racism, Sexism, and the Inferential Role Theory of Meaning
2. Discourse Competence: Or How to Theorize Strong Women Speakers
3. Surviving to Speak New Language: Mary Daly and Adrienne Rich
4. From Revolution to Liberation: Transforming Hysterical Discourse into Analytic Discourse
Part Two: The Power to Speak: Who Is Speaking, from Where?
5. Disarticulated Voices: Feminism and Philomela
6. Confessional Feminisms: Rhetorical Dimensions of First-Person Theorizing
Susan David Bernstein
7. The Postcolonial Critic: Shifting Subjects, Changing Paradigms
Part Three: The Power of Masculinist Metaphors: Words That Keep Women in Place
8. Sublime Impersonation: The Rhetoric of Personificationin Kant
9. Frege's Metaphors
10. Free Gift or Forced Figure? Derrida's Usage of Hymen in "The Double Session"
Part Four: The Power of Feminist Metaphors: Words That Open Spaces for Women
11. At the Limits of Discourse: Heterogeneity, Alterity, and the Maternal Body in Kristeva's Thought
Ewa Plonowska Ziarek
12. Writing (into) the Symbolic: The Maternal Metaphor in Hélène Cixous
13. Language and the Space of the Feminine: Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray