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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Literary Theory- Feminism. Help please.

95 replies

suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:21

Right, you educated lot. I am in my first year of an english lit degree and this semester we are doing literary and cultural theory, namely Marxism, Post Colonial Theory, Psychoanalysis, Queer Theory and Feminism. We haven't had the lecture yet but I want to get ahead of the game. Plus, I have to do an informal presentation to my seminar group on this subject and I would like to be well informed with 'insider' knowledge as it were. Anyone point me in a useful direction?
Thanks.

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dittany · 19/02/2011 21:28

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:32

Thanks Dittany, no to all the above. The theory books we have are Rivkin & Ryan which contains every important essay on the subjects apparently and this Bennett & Royle one. I feel that it would be beneficial to specialise in one area and feel that feminism should be it. I have heard of Terry Eagleton, but not sure if that is from MN or my degree, I will look into that.

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:37

Have definitely come across him already, I am at Salford uni and he is a Salfordian so maye thats why (although he never worked there, just far far better establishments). His book is cheapo on Amazon, will get it.

What about a summary of feminism as a part of literary theory?

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dittany · 19/02/2011 21:40

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:41

We were reading an essay by Althusser on ideology. He killed his wife. Shock

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:42

Done Foucault before. Its psychoanalysis this week. I expect to have epiphanies.

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antimony · 19/02/2011 21:44

Queer politics is not all about BDSM. That is a very bizarre idea. There is an intro to it by Annmarie Jagose.

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dittany · 19/02/2011 21:47

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:50

I wonder how much of our lecture will be on BDSM then.....

I understood it to be (in extremely simple terms) the hidden messages in texts that could be interpreted in a modern cultural society as having homosexual/lesbian undertones. ie Some of the relationships between Shakespeare's main characters and the famous painting of Cain and Abel for example.

Simplistic, as I said.

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LeninGrad · 19/02/2011 21:52

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 21:55

Is Queer theory in relation to taking a reading of a text, different from queer politics? It sounds it.

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LeninGrad · 19/02/2011 22:05

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 22:09

I try not to use wiki, as it is postively drummed in us not to. That all sounds very feasible though and mirrors my own understanding.

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LeninGrad · 19/02/2011 22:12

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suwoo · 19/02/2011 22:16

All very interesting. I may be in touch in a few weeks when we approach it. I wonder if gay and straight people take different things from it?

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JaneS · 20/02/2011 01:25

I sometimes write what other people call feminist lit crit, and my supervisor draws on a lot of feminist criticism. What I know is mostly the practice not the theory, but I could still try to set out some thoughts if you think it might help?

I've mostly found what little criticism I've read that's influenced by queer theory useful as a corrective to late-Victorian/early 20th century literary criticism, which is sometimes more aggressively opposed to, or inclined to censor, homosexual and homosocial texts.

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austenreader · 20/02/2011 01:54

Terry Eagleton is a good starting point because he was one of the pioneers of Structuralism in this country. His book 'Literary Theory - An Introduction' probably still stands the test of time.
There's also Fredric Jameson - The Political Unconscious.

Freud's work on The Wolfman is probably featured in the psychoanalytical stuff -the construction of more than one narrative within a narrative of a case study.

Elaine Showalter is good on Feminism.

Roland Barthes is bound to come up. His concept of 'Differance'.

It's a very wide field! All art is political....

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antimony · 20/02/2011 08:21

Queer theory stresses ways to undo heteronormativity; but it also, as Leningrad says,wants to do away with identity politics. Ie, you can't have queer as an identity. Dittany's examples, Foucault, Califia and Rubin, may be queer, but I wouldn't call them queer theorists (esp not Califia), and whatever BDSM they practice is not afaik related to queer theory.
Eve Sedgwick is a great queer theorist - Between Men transforms several key Victorian texts.

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Rhadegunde · 20/02/2011 08:47

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dittany · 20/02/2011 12:47

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antimony · 20/02/2011 13:05

Dittany - that appears to be a site to sell books; I'm not sure why it makes Califia a queer theorist. Sure, he writes about queer stuff, but that's hardly the same thing. Anyway that's rather OT, sorry!

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dittany · 20/02/2011 13:12

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dittany · 20/02/2011 13:15

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JaneS · 20/02/2011 13:26

dittany, to be fair I think the OP is asking about academic writing. Ime English Lit. courses tend to teach undergraduates about quite established 'examples of theory x' type writing, not the stuff that's currently groundbreaking.

Though I've been trying to get mine aware of current issues a bit!

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dittany · 20/02/2011 13:35

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