About this topic
Summary Structuralism, as it was founded in early 20th c. linguistics and anthropology, makes binary opposition foundational to a study of culture, and the male/female opposition is key among such binaries. The critique of such binary oppositions found in poststructuralism thus lends itself naturally to feminist philosophical approaches. Poststructural feminism explores alliances with - among other movements and thinkers - Derridean deconstruction, Foucauldian analyses of power and biopolitics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Deleuzian philosophy. Putting gender at center stage, it is interested in critiquing and displacing subject/object relations of all kinds, including those of race, economics and class, transnational and postcolonial dynamics, and bodily ability. It thrives in dynamic interaction with existential, phenomenological, psychoanalytic, historicist, Marxist, and materialist approaches.
Key works

Key texts in poststructural feminism include the postcolonial Marxist deconstructive feminism of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, for which see Spivak 1993, Drucilla Cornell's classic Cornell 1992 which explores deconstruction's relationship to the ethico-political projects of feminism, and Judith Butler's poststructuralist critique of gender: Butler 1990. A foundational text which lays out the connections between Marxism, psychoanalytis, and structuralism as a starting point for feminist critique is Rubin 1975:Gayle Rubin's The Traffic in Women, while Irigaray 1985 treats similar themes in a different context. For a range of readings in psychoanalytic poststructural feminism see Brennan 1989Anzaldúa 1987 is a fine example of a poststructural feminist approach to lived experience, while Haraway 1991 gives a classic feminist deconstruction of the boundary between nature and technology. For a Foucauldian approach to feminism see McLaren 2002. For a Deleuzian approach see Braidotti 2011.

Introductions Cheah 1996 : Review of two key books: Butler 1993 and Grosz 1994 grappling with the issue of materiality in a feminist poststructuralist context. Fuss 1989: Poststructuralist critiques of essentialist feminism. Cixous 1976: Classic work of poststructuralist feminism. Feder et al 1997: Collection of articles discussing relationship between Derrida and Feminism. Ziarek 2001 Comprehensive introduction to issues of ethics and politics from feminist poststructural/postmodern viewpoint.
Related categories

392 found
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  1. Bodies and Sensings: On the Uses of Husserlian Phenomenology for Feminist Theory.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):13-37.
    What does Husserlian phenomenology have to offer feminist theory? More specifically, can we find resources within Husserl’s account of the living body ( Leib ) for the critical feminist project of rethinking embodiment beyond the dichotomies not only of mind/body but also of subject/object and activity/passivity? This essay begins by explicating the reasons for feminist hesitation with respect to Husserlian phenomenology. I then explore the resources that Husserl’s phenomenology of touch and his account of sensings hold for feminist theory. My (...)
  2. Imagining Sex in Space: How Sexual Difference Acquires Ontological Import in Plato's "Timaeus".Doris Rita Alfonso - 2002 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook
    Plato's Timaeus is a story about the origins of the world, a cosmology in which Plato posits three kinds of beings: the already familiar intelligible and sensible beings are distinguished from space-chora. Timaeus compares the receptacle- chora to the mother, intelligible being to the father, and the world of sensible beings to the offspring arising between them. He figures the third ontological category of chora variously, as the receptacle, nurse, mother, and matrix into and out of which beings pass. My (...)
  3. Reconstruction or Deconstruction?: A Reply to Johanna Meehan.Amy Allen - 2000 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (3):53-60.
    I argue that Johanna Meehan's call to examine the extra-linguistic psychic, affective and biological dimensions of gender identity is extremely important both for feminist theory in particular and for contemporary Continental philosophy in general. However, I suspect that such an examination might necessitate more than a mere expansion or reconstruction of Habermas' views; on the contrary, I suggest that Meehan's line of argument might lead instead toward a radical deconstruction of Habermasian critical theory. Key Words: feminism • Habermas • identity (...)
  4. The Power of Feminist Theory: Domination, Resistance, Solidarity.Amy Allen - 1999 - Westview Press.
    Power is clearly a crucial concept for feminist theory. Insofar as feminists are interested in analyzing power, it is because they have an interest in understanding, critiquing, and ultimately challenging the multiple array of unjust power relations affecting women in contemporary Western societies, including sexism, racism, heterosexism, and class oppression. In "The Power of Feminist Theory," Amy Allen diagnoses the inadequacies of previous feminist conceptions of power, and draws on the work of a diverse group of theorists of power, including (...)
  5. ""Alcoff, Linda." Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory." In Feminist Theory in Practice and Process, Ed. Micheline R. Malson, Jean F. O'Barr, Sarah Westphal-Wihl, and Mary Wyer, 295-326. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.." Feminist Politics and Foucault: The Limits to a Collaboration." In Crises in Continental Philosophy, Ed. Arlene Dallery and Charles Scott, 69-86. Albany. [REVIEW]Jefmer Allen & Iris Marion Young - 2000 - In Linda Fisher & Lester E. Embree (eds.), Feminist Phenomenology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, C. pp. 293.
  6. (Un)Concealing the Hedgehog. Modernist and Postmodernist American Poetry and Contemporary Critical Theories.Paulina Ambroży - unknown
    The book is an attempt to explore the affinities between contemporary critical theories and modernist and postmodernist American poetry. The analysis focuses on poststructuralist theories, notorious for their tendency to destabilize generic boundaries between literary, philosophical and critical discourses. The main argument and the structure of the book derive from Jacques Derrida’s essay “Che cos’è la poesia” [What is poetry?] in which the philosopher postulates the impossibility of defining poetry by comparing a poem to a hedgehog – prickly, solitary, untamed, (...)
  7. A Glossary of Feminist Theory.Sonya Andermahr - 1997 - Distributed Exclusively in the Usa by St. Martin's Press.
    This glossary is both an introduction to the key words of feminist critical theories and a guide to their origins. Acknowledging the variety of contemporary feminist theories, the glossary includes entries on black, post-colonial, Italian, and French feminisms, and draws on a wide range of fields including semiotics, psychoanalysis, structuralism, poststructuralism, and deconstruction.
  8. Life, Death and Subjectivity: Realism and Recognition in Continental Feminism.Pamela Sue Anderson - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1-3):41-59.
    I begin with the assumption that a philosophically significant tension exists today in feminist philosophy of religion between those subjects who seek to become divine and those who seek their identity in mutual recognition. My critical engagement with the ambiguous assertions of Luce Irigaray seeks to demonstrate, one the one hand, that a woman needs to recognize her own identity but, on the other hand, that each subject whether male or female must struggle in relation to the other in order (...)
  9. Divinity, Incarnation and Intersubjectivity: On Ethical Formation and Spiritual Practice.Pamela Sue Anderson - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (3):335-356.
    In what sense, if any, does the dominant conception of the traditional theistic God as disembodied inform our embodied experiences? Feminist philosophers of religion have been either explicitly or implicitly preoccupied by a philosophical failure to address such questions concerning embodiment and its relationship to the divine. To redress this failure, certain feminist philosophers have sought to appropriate Luce Irigaray’s argument that embodied divinity depends upon women themselves becoming divine. This article assesses weaknesses in the Irigarayan position, notably the problematic (...)
  10. Luce Irigaray: Back to the Beginning.Ovidiu Anemtoaicei & Yvette Russell - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (5):773-786.
  11. Inter-Dict and Alterity: Dialectic in Speculum of the Other Woman.Emily Anne Parker - 2010 - Philosophy Today 54 (Supplement):217.
  12. The Flesh of All That Is: Merleau-Ponty, Irigaray, and Julian's 'Showings'.Diane Antonio - 2001 - Sophia 40 (2):47-65.
    Julian of Norwich (b. 1342) anticipated the ontological and epistemological work on sexed embodiment pioneered in the work of Merleau-Ponty and Irigaray in the 20th century. Her epistemology of sensual ‘showings’ helped reconfigure women’s embodiment and speech acts (‘bodytalk’): by recognizing cognitive emotions and the knowledge-producing body; and by envisioning the intertwining of human flesh with All That Is. The paper next examines Merleau-Ponty’s somatic discourse on the chiasmic flesh, which leads to a discussion of Irigaray’s work on poetic mimesis.
  13. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza.Gloria Anzaldúa - 1987 - Aunt Lute.
    Borderlands/La Frontera deals with the psychology of resistance to oppression. The possibility of resistance is revealed by perceiving the self in the process of being oppressed as another face of the self in the process of resisting oppression. The new mestiza consciousness is born from this interplay between oppression and resistance. Resistance is understood as social, collective activity, by adding to Anzaldúa's theory the distinction between the act and the process of resistance.
  14. Critical Theory and Poststructuralism: In Search of a Context.John Anzalone & Mark Poster - 1992 - Substance 21 (1):152.
  15. The Linguistics of French Feminism: Sémanalyse as Critical Discourse Analysis.Katherine Arens - 1998 - Intertexts 2:171.
  16. Foucault and Feminism.Aurelia Armstrong - 2003 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  17. Enlightened Women: Modernist Feminism in a Postmodern Age.Alison Assiter - 1995 - Routledge.
    This is a bold and controversial feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. While providing a brief and accessible introduction to postmodernist feminist thought, Enlightened Women is also a unique defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy. The first half of the book covers an analysis of some of the most influential postmodernist theorists, such as Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. In the second half Alison Assiter advocates a return to modernism in feminism. She argues, against the current orthodoxy, that there can be (...)
  18. Chris Weedon, Feminist Practise and Poststructuralist Theory. [REVIEW]Margaret Atack - 1990 - Radical Philosophy 55:52.
  19. Mourning (as) Woman: Event, Catachresis, and "That Other Face of Discourse": Poiesis of Alterity.Athena Athanasiou & Elena Tzelepis - 2010 - In Elena Tzelepis & Athena Athanasiou (eds.), Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and "the Greeks". State University of New York Press.
  20. Thinking Difference as Different Thinking in Luce Irigaray's Deconstructive Genealogies.Athena Athanasiou & Elena Tzelepis - 2010 - In Elena Tzelepis & Athena Athanasiou (eds.), Rewriting Difference: Luce Irigaray and "the Greeks". State University of New York Press.
  21. Introducing the 'What's the Problem Represented to Be?' Approach.Carol Bacchi - 2012 - In Angelique Bletsas & Chris Beasley (eds.), Engaging with Carol Bacchi: Strategic Interventions and Exchanges. University of Adelaide Press.
  22. Strategic Interventions and Ontological Politics: Research as Political Practice.Carol Bacchi - 2012 - In Angelique Bletsas & Chris Beasley (eds.), Engaging with Carol Bacchi: Strategic Interventions and Exchanges. University of Adelaide Press.
  23. "More or Less Raped": Foucault, Causality, and Feminist Critiques of Sexual Violence.Kelly H. Ball - 2013 - philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 3 (1):14.
  24. Genre, Gender, Giallo: The Disturbed Dreams of Dario Argento.Colette Jane Balmain - unknown
    This thesis presents an examination of the giallo films of Dario Argento from his directorial debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage to The Stendhal Syndrome'. In opposition to the dominant psychoanalytical approaches to the horror film generally and Argento's giallo specifically, this thesis argues that the giallo, both textually and meta-textually, actively resists oedipalisation. Taking up from Deleuze's contention in Cinema 1: The Movement Image that the cinematic-image can be consider the equivalent to a philosophical concept, I suggest that (...)
  25. Crítica feminista de la discapacidad: el monstruo como figura de la vulnerabilidad y exclusión.Isabel Balza - 2011 - Dilemata 7:57-76.
    En este artículo se examina la común estrategia metódica de los estudios sobre la discapacidad y la crítica feminista, que sitúa la experiencia de la discapacidad en el contexto de los derechos y las exclusiones. Este modelo social de la discapacidad critica el modelo biomédico que concibe la discapacidad como anormalidad y patología, como error de un orden natural dado. Para deconstruir este sujeto naturalizado se analiza una de las representaciones históricas de la discapacidad: la figura del monstruo. Por último, (...)
  26. 11 From Feminist Empiricism to Feminist Poststructuralism: Philosophical Questions in Feminist Economics.Drucilla K. Barker - 2004 - In John Bryan Davis & Alain Marciano (eds.), The Elgar Companion to Economics and Philosophy. Edward Elgar. pp. 213.
  27. She Speaks/He Listens: Women on the French Analyst's Couch.Elaine Hoffman Baruch - 1996 - Routledge.
    Although much attention has been given to Jacques Lacan in his rereading of Freud and to French women analysts in their deconstruction of traditional psychoanalysis, little has been available in the US on contemporary male French analysts and their treatment of women. She Speaks/He Listens illustrates the range of thought among some well-known French male psychoanalysts today--from Lacanians to anti-Lacanians to eclectics--with regard to women and sexual difference. Through the interview format, with its possibilities for surprise and spontaneity, the book (...)
  28. Learning to Think Intercontinentally: Finding Australian Routes.Christine Battersby - 2000 - Hypatia 15 (2):1-17.
    : This introductory essay argues that it is a mistake to represent Australian feminist philosophy as a kind of discourse theory that is "downstream" of the French post-structuralists or North American postmodernists. Starting with the local--and the specifically Australian modes of racial exclusion, in particular--and exploring some of the byways of philosophy, what we encounter is a range of ontological, ethical, and political models that allow a reconfiguration of self, community, and social change.
  29. The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity.Christine Battersby - 1998 - Routledge.
    Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and "other", patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.
  30. Her Blood and His Mirror: Mary Coleridge, Luce Irigaray, and the Female Self.Christine Battersby - 1996 - In Richard Thomas Eldridge (ed.), Beyond Representation: Philosophy and Poetic Imagination. Cambridge University Press. pp. 249--272.
  31. The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference.Christine Battersby & Kimberly Hutchings - 2008 - Radical Philosophy 148:43.
    Christine Battersby is a leading thinker in the field of philosophy, gender studies and visual and literary aesthetics. In this important new work, she undertakes an exploration of the nature of the sublime, one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about modernity, politics and art. Through a compelling examination of terror, transcendence and the ‘other’ in key European philosophers and writers, Battersby articulates a radical ‘female sublime’. A central feature of The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is its (...)
  32. The Second Feminism.Nancy Bauer - 2007 - Symposia on Gender, Race, and Philosophy.
  33. Making Politics Fleshly: The Ethic of Social Flesh.Chris Beasley & Carol Bacchi - 2012 - In Angelique Bletsas & Chris Beasley (eds.), Engaging with Carol Bacchi: Strategic Interventions and Exchanges. University of Adelaide Press. pp. 1099.
  34. French Feminism Reader.Simone de Beauvoir, Michele Le Doeuff, Christine Delphy, Colette Guillaumin, Monique Wittig, Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray & Helene Cixous - 2000 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    French Feminism Reader is a collection of essays representing the authors and issues from French theory most influential in the American context. The book is designed for use in courses, and it includes illuminating introductions to the work of each author. These introductions include biographical information, influences and intellectual context, major themes in the author's work as a whole, and specific introductions to the selections in this volume. This collection includes selections by Simone de Beauvoir, Christine Delphy, Colette Guilluamin, Monique (...)
  35. Women & Social Transformation.Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim, Judith Butler & Lidia Puigvert (eds.) - 2003 - P. Lang.
  36. Sartre and the Word.Debra Bergoffen - 2006 - Sartre Studies International 12 (2):83-91.
    Jean Pierre Boulé's Sartre, Self Formation and Masculinities argues that we cannot adequately understand Sartre without taking account of the unique ways in which he negotiated the gender mandates of patriarchy. Taking Boulé's cue, I call on Lacan, Cixous and Beauvoir to interrogate Sartre's relationship to women, to his body and to writing. I argue for Boulé's approach but against several of his conclusions. Further, I credit Boulé with providing ammunition for challenging Lacan's universal account of the mirror stage, and (...)
  37. Phallic Queerings: Queering the Phallus: Cixous, Irigaray, and Butler.Debra B. Bergoffen - 1996 - Philosophy Today 40 (1):206-210.
  38. Economy and Strategy : Deconstruction as Feminism.Malcolm Bernard - unknown
    This essay concerns the possibility of a critical discourse/practice that will not be immediately and unproblematically appropriated by that which it attempts to critique.
  39. Rewriting Difference: Irigaray and “The Greeks”. Edited by Elena Tzelepis and Athena Athanasiou. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010. [REVIEW]Emanuela Bianchi - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (2):455-460.
  40. Sexual Topologies in the Aristotelian Cosmos: Revisiting Irigaray's Physics of Sexual Difference.Emanuela Bianchi - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (3):373-389.
    Irigaray’s engagement with Aristotelian physics provides a specific diagnosis of women’s ontological and ethical situation under Western metaphysics: Women provide place and containership to men, but have no place of their own, rendering them uncontained and abyssal. She calls for a reconfiguration of this topological imaginary as a precondition for an ethics of sexual difference. This paper returns to Aristotelian cosmological texts to further investigate the topologies of sexual difference suggested there. In an analysis both psychoanalytic and phenomenological, the paper (...)
  41. Receptacle/Chōra: Figuring the Errant Feminine in Plato's Timaeus.Emanuela Bianchi - 2006 - Hypatia 21 (4):124-146.
    This essay undertakes a reexamination of the notion of the receptacle/chōra in Plato's Timaeus, asking what its value may be to feminists seeking to understand the topology of the feminine in Western philosophy. As the source of cosmic motion as well as a restless figurality, labile and polyvocal, the receptacle/chōra offers a fecund zone of destabilization that allows for an immanent critique of ancient metaphysics. Engaging with Derridean, Irigarayan, and Kristevan analyses, Bianchi explores whether receptacle/chōra can exceed its reduction to (...)
  42. Renaturalizing the Body.Carol Bigwood - 1991 - Hypatia 6 (3):54-73.
    Some poststructuralist feminist theorists hold that the body is merely the product of cultural determinants and that gender is a free-floating artifice. I discuss how this "denaturalization" of gender and the body entrenches us yet deeper in the nature/culture dichotomy. The body, I maintain, needs to be "renaturalized" so that its earthy significance is recognized. Through a feminist reappropriation of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of the body, I develop a noncausal linkage between gender and the body. I present the body as an (...)
  43. Spaces Between: Elaborating the Theoretical Underpinnings of the 'WPR' Approach and its Significance for Contemporary Scholarship.Angelique Bletsas - 2012 - In Angelique Bletsas & Chris Beasley (eds.), Engaging with Carol Bacchi: Strategic Interventions and Exchanges. University of Adelaide Press.
  44. Engaging with Carol Bacchi: Strategic Interventions and Exchanges.Angelique Bletsas & Chris Beasley (eds.) - 2012 - University of Adelaide Press.
    This book arose out of a conference organised by the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender at The University of Adelaide honouring Carol Bacchi's work and is intended to make that work accessible to a range of audiences. - from the ...
  45. Post-Secular Philosophy: Between Philosophy and Theology.Philip Blond (ed.) - 1998 - Routledge.
    From Nietzsche to the present, the Western philosophical tradition has been dominated by a secular thinking that has dismissed discussion of God as largely irrelevant. In recent years however, the issue of theology has returned to spark some of the most controversial debates within contemporary philosophy. Discussions of theology by key contemporary philosophers such as Derrida and Levinas have placed religion at centre stage. _Post-Secular Philosophy_ is one of the first volumes to consider how God has been approached by modern (...)
  46. Embodiment and Ambiguity: Luce Irigaray, Sexual Difference, and Race.Mary K. Bloodsworth - 1999 - International Studies in Philosophy 31 (2):69-90.
  47. Towards a Pre-Modern Psychaitry.Jenifer Booth - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Responding to the work of previous critics of psychiatry, who have associated its undue dominance with both a modern scientific paradigm and political factors, I put forward a theoretical challenge based on MacIntyre`s work on Aquinas and Aristotle, but adding the museum and assembly as conceptual thinking tools. -/- MacIntyre`s work on practices, tradition-constituted enquiry, Marxist ideology and Kuhn are all used in putting forward a pre-modern view of knowledge. The feminist philosophy of Luce Irigaray widens the project to include (...)
  48. Philosophy and the Maternal Body: Reading Silence.Michelle Boulous Walker - 1998 - Routledge.
    _Philosophy and the Maternal Body_ gives a new voice to the mother and the maternal body which have often been viewed as silent within philosophy. Michelle Boulous Walker clearly shows how some male theorists have appropriated maternity, and suggests new ways of articulating the maternal body and women's experience of pregnancy and motherhood.
  49. Irigaray and the question on sexual difference. [Spanish].Amalia Boyer - 2004 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 2:90-103.
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  50. Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory.Rosi Braidotti - 2011 - Columbia University Press.
    Introduction -- By way of nomadism -- Context and generations -- Sexual difference theory -- On the female feminist subject : from "she-self" to "she-other" -- Sexual difference as a nomadic political project -- Organs without bodies -- Images without imagination -- Mothers, monsters, and machines -- Discontinuous becomings : Deleuze and the becoming-woman of philosophy -- Envy and ingratitude: men in feminism -- Conclusion. Geometries of passion : a conversation.
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