Class Notes (807,075)
United States (312,354)
English (113)
E 341 (23)

Feminism, Helene Cixous, Julia Kristeva, gender studies, Judith Butler

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Colorado State University
E 341
Aparna Gollapudi

25 October 1980’s: Growing prominence of French Feminism (Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous, and Julia Kristeva) Instead of focusing on how women had been marginalized in patriarchy or how they had been misrepresented, French Feminism focuses on exploring female “essence”. I.e., bringing into light a specific mode of being, thinking, speaking, writing that is essentially female Women’s physical processes offer a different experience of being The persistent materiality of female bodily processes is very different from male abstraction, of the prioritization of abstract reason, thought etc. over the physical, of raising soul/mind over body This difference is partly due to the socialization processes of patriarchy that force rejection of the maternal Female essence can also be manifested in writing/literature Hélène Cixous Ecriture feminine Cixous’ term is closely linked with Derrida’s analysis of writing as differance. From her essay, “The Laugh of the Medusa”, Cixous suggest that ecriture feminine is “associated with the feminine” and facilitates “the free play of meanings” Reflects processes of body, rhythmic It is linked to “What lies outside male reason.” “What lies outside male reason is precisely everything such reason abhors – contradiction, nonidentity, fluidity, nonrationality, illogicality, mixing of genres, etc. Domination through categorical analysis (the violent cut of distinction) is impossible in the realm of matter where things flow into one another and are unamenable to philosophical opposition. Woman names this nonidentity, and her language…ecriture feminine.” More poetic than male language E.g., stream of consciousness Ecriture feminine is “transgressive” and “rule-transcending”. According to Toril Moi, “For Cixous, feminine texts are texts that ‘work on the difference’…, struggle to undermine the dominant phallogocentric logic, split open the closure of binary opposition and revel in the pleasures of open-ended textuality.” Phallogocentric – male/logic, but also the word; linguistics Julia Kristeva Kristeva’s ideas are linked to Lacan’s distinction between the Imaginary and the Symbolic In many ways, Kristeva suggests that the semiotic aspect of language is akin to Lacan’s Imaginary realm and remains outside a signifying system although she wouldn’t necessarily refer to it as pre-linguistic as if to devalue it. When the semiotic is repressed under the symbolic system it remains as “Chora” and tries to break through into the Symbolic Order to subvert and unsettle the fixed form. It represents the “disruptive dimension of language”. Semiotic – sense of oneness, fullness (with mother’s body) Chora – womb of the world Id, the real, the semiotic → the mirror stage → superego, loss, loss of playful language → ego, the Symbolic Order, masculine The unconscious, “Desire” caused by lack/loss, Chora – a language of the unconscious always trying to break into the symbolic order Symbolic – “This symbolic facet of language maintains the fiction that the self is fixed and unified.” Semiotic – “The semiotic aspect of discourse is characterized not by logic and order, but by ‘displacement, slippage, condensation’ which suggests a much looser, more randomized way of making connections” According to Toril Moi, Kristeva argues that language should not be explored as “monol
More Less

Related notes for E 341

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.