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. added 2018-10-21
    Theorizing Feminist Political Subjectivity: A Reply to Caputi and Naranch.Claudia Leeb - 2018 - Journal of International Political Theory 2018 (published online first, May 2018):1-22.
    I would like to start out by thanking Larie Naranch and Mary Caputi for their inspiring and thought provoking comments, which helped me to think not only about the content of the book, but also further implications of it. Before responding to their comments, I would like to briefly outline the main themes of the book. My book brings German (Karl Marx and Theodor W. Adorno) and French (Jacques Lacan) thought in conversation to answer questions of socio-political change, and thereby (...)
  2. added 2018-10-21
    Female Resistance or the Politics of Death? Rethinking Antigone.Claudia Leeb - 2017 - In Gabriel Ricci (ed.), The Persistence of Critical Theory. Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction. pp. 223-240.
    In this chapter, I discuss Sophocles’ Antigone as a paradigmatic example of what the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben identified as homo sacer, that is, someone who is simultaneously cursed and declared sacred. Set off from society, they are deprived of rights and, thus, may subsequently be killed with impunity. In this chapter, I elaborate on the ways in which Antigone dwells at the zone of indistinction between the public and the private, the included and the excluded, life and death, (...)
  3. added 2018-10-21
    Working-Class Women in Elite Academia: A Philosophical Inquiry.Claudia Leeb - 2004 - Peter Lang Publisher.
    In this original book, Claudia Leeb uses a poststructuralist perspective to chart explicit and tacit assumptions about the working class in general and the working-class woman specifically in the classical texts of prominent political philosophers and social critics including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Rousseau, Marx, Weber and Bourdieu. The author argues that philosophical discourses that construct such categories as the Other function as disciplinary practices that aim at keeping working-class women either out of or at the margins of academic institutions. She (...)
  4. added 2018-02-18
    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 (...)
  5. added 2018-02-18
    Book Review: Dorothea Olkowski. Gilles Deleuze and the Ruin of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. [REVIEW]Moira Gatens - 2003 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 18 (3):237-239.
  6. added 2018-02-18
    Coincidence of Comparison.Rada Iveković - 2000 - Hypatia 15 (4):224 - 235.
    Rada Iveković reflects on the significance of modernity in contemporary Indian philosophy. Where the orient has been figured as the other for western philosophers, she asks how Indian philosophy depicts the west, how philosophers such as Kant have been interpreted, and how thematics such as pluralism, tolerance, relativity, innovation, and curiosity about the foreign have been figured in both ancient and contemporary Indian philosophy. While working on the western side with such authors as Lyotard, Deleuze, Serres, or Irigaray, Iveković doesn't (...)
  7. added 2018-02-18
    Yielding Gender: Feminism, Deconstruction, and the History of Philosophy.Penelope Deutscher - 1997 - Routledge.
    Traditional accounts of the feminist history of philosophy have viewed reason as associated with masculinity and subsequent debates have been framed by this assumption. Yet recent debates in deconstruction have shown that gender has never been a stable matter. In the history of philosophy 'female' and 'woman' are full of ambiguity. What does deconstruction have to offer feminist criticism of the history of philosophy? _Yielding Gender_ explores this question by examining three crucial areas; the issue of gender as 'troubled'; deconstruction; (...)
  8. added 2018-02-17
    Against Matricide: Rethinking Subjectivity and the Maternal Body.Alison Stone - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (1):118-138.
    In this article I critically re-examine Julia Kristeva's view that becoming a speaking subject requires psychical matricide: violent separation from the maternal body. I propose an alternative, non-matricidal conception of subjectivity, in part by drawing out anti-matricidal strands in Kristeva's own thought, including her view that early mother–child relations are triangular. Whereas she understands this triangle in terms of a first imaginary father, I re-interpret this triangle using Donald Winnicott's idea of potential space and Jessica Benjamin's idea of an intersubjective (...)
  9. added 2018-02-17
    The Religious.John D. Caputo (ed.) - 2001 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _The Religious_ offers landmark texts from Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, and Irigaray, excerpts from the famous debate between Jean-Luc Marion and Dominique Janicaud, and ten original selections, some of which include coverage of feminist theology.
  10. added 2018-02-17
    Dreaming the Innumerable.John D. Caputo - 1997 - In Ellen K. Feder, Mary C. Rawlinson & Emily Zakin (eds.), Derrida and Feminism: Recasting the Question of Woman. Routledge. pp. 141--60.
  11. added 2017-12-16
    Photocopy Packet for SOC*4450 University of Guelph (Edited by V. I. Burke).Victoria I. Burke (ed.) - 2017 - Guelph: University of Guelph.
    This collection in the area of continental philosophy of language, aesthetics, and semiotics includes articles and book selections from Derrida, Ricouer, McCumber, Oliver, Sheshradi-Krooks, Lacan, and Kristeva. This collection is available in the University of Guelph bookstore.
  12. added 2017-10-09
    The Politics of Contradiction: Feminism and the Self.Victoria I. Burke - 2000 - Philosophy Today 44 (1):44-50.
  13. added 2017-10-09
    A Body of Writing, 1990-1999.Bronwyn Davies - 2000 - Altamira Press.
    Weaving together her most influential writings of the 1990s, Bronwyn Davies offers a unique engagement with poststructuralism that defies the boundaries between theory and embodied practice. Whereas poststructuralists are often accused of excessive abstraction, Davies' sophisticated and nuanced discussions of subjectivity, agency, epistemology, feminism, and power are embedded in vital depictions of lived experience and empirical research. A renowned scholar of education and gender formation, Davies shows the importance of poststructural perspectives for her own research in classrooms, on playgrounds, with (...)
  14. added 2017-02-15
    White Ink: Interviews on Sex, Text and Politics.Helene Cixous & Susan Sellers (eds.) - 2008 - Routledge.
    Helene Cixous is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential feminist writers and thinkers. "White Ink" brings together her most revealing interviews, available in English for the first time. Spanning over four decades and including a new interview with the editor Susan Sellers, this collection presents a brilliant, running commentary on the subjects at the heart of Cixous' writing. Here, Cixous discusses her books and her creative process, her views on and insights into literature, philosophy, theatre, politics, aesthetics, (...)
  15. added 2017-02-15
    Derrida and Feminism: Recasting the Question of Woman.Ellen K. Feder, Mary C. Rawlinson & Emily Zakin (eds.) - 1997 - New York: Routledge.
    The first-ever compilation of articles that highlights the intersection of Derridean and feminist theories--a work that represents the extensive and diverse response feminist theorists have had to Derrida, particularly to the issues of gender, identity, and the construction of the subject.
  16. added 2017-02-15
    Helene Cixous and the Hour of Clarice Lispector.Anna Klobucka - 1994 - Substance 23 (1):41.
  17. added 2017-02-14
    Touching Thought: Ontology and Sexual Difference.Ellen Mortensen - 2002 - Lexington Books.
    The blindness to ontological questioning in feminist theory has left a lacuna in scholarly study that Touching Thought—a study at the intersection of ontological meditation and feminist theorizing on sexual difference—seeks to fill. Ellen Mortensen's new work critiques the language and theoretical pathways of contemporary feminist theorists such as Judith Butler, Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz, Luce Irigaray, Theresa de Lauretis, and Donna Haraway to reveal a problematic predilection for technological language at the expense of ontological inquiry. The volume ranges across (...)
  18. added 2017-02-12
    Critical Resistance: From Poststructuralism to Post-Critique (Review).Brett Parker - 2006 - Substance 35 (3):153-157.
  19. added 2017-02-11
    Asymmetrical Genders: Phenomenological Reflections on Sexual Difference.Silvia Stoller & Translated by Camilla R. Nielsen - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (2):7-26.
    One of the most fundamental premises of feminist philosophy is the assumption of an invidious asymmetry between the genders that has to be overcome. Parallel to this negative account of asymmetry we also find a positive account, developed in particular within the context of so-called feminist philosophies of difference. I explore both notions of gender asymmetry. The goal is a clarification of the notion of asymmetry as it can presently be found in feminist philosophy. Drawing upon phenomenology as well as (...)
  20. added 2017-02-08
    Poststructuralism in Georgia.Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover - 2010 - Angelaki 15 (3):27-39.
  21. added 2017-01-27
    Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory, Second Edition.Rosi Braidotti - 2011 - Columbia University Press.
    For more than fifteen years, _Nomadic Subjects_has guided discourse in continental philosophy and feminist theory, exploring the constitution of contemporary subjectivity, especially the concept of difference within European philosophy and political theory. Rosi Braidotti's creative style vividly renders a productive crisis of modernity. From a feminist perspective, she recasts embodiment, sexual difference, and complex concepts through relations to technology, historical events, and popular culture. This thoroughly revised and expanded edition retains all but two of Braidotti's original essays, including her investigations (...)
  22. added 2017-01-27
    Feminism and Deconstruction.Mary Poovey - 1988 - Feminist Studies 14 (1):51.
  23. added 2017-01-24
    Poststructuralism in Georgia: The Phenomenology of the “Objects-Centaurs” of Merab Mamardashvili.Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover - 2010 - Angelaki 15 (3):27-39.
    The philosophical works of Merab Mamardashvili are part of the emergence of phenomenological thought on the “margins” of the Eastern European sphere, appropriating and mediating a version of French poststructuralism in the “Soviet” 1980s, in which deconstruction constitutes both method and content. More specifically, Mamardashvili uses Descartes as the point de repère for his investigations into the phenomenology of the object of knowledge and the structure of consciousness, which come to model Mamardashvili's phenomenological Self, anticipating a modern, post-ideological Subject. Mamardashvili's (...)
  24. added 2017-01-24
    Beyond the Politics of Positionality: Deconstruction and Feminism.E. Holm & P. Cilliers - 1998 - South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):377-394.
  25. added 2017-01-19
    Cixous and Derrida.Claire Colebrook - 2008 - Angelaki 13 (2):109 – 124.
  26. added 2017-01-16
    Critical Theory and Poststructuralism: In Search of a Context.John Anzalone & Mark Poster - 1992 - Substance 21 (1):152.
  27. added 2017-01-16
    On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism After Structuralism.Gregory L. Ulmer & Jonathan Culler - 1984 - Substance 13 (1):100.
  28. added 2017-01-16
    Deconstruction: Theory and PracticeDeconstructive Criticism: An Advanced Introduction.Stephen Melville, Christopher Norris & Vincent Leitch - 1984 - Substance 13 (2):89.
  29. added 2017-01-16
    Cixous' Exorbitant Texts.Brian Duren - 1981 - Substance 10 (3):39.
  30. added 2017-01-15
    When Equality Justifies Women's Subjection: Luce Irigaray's Critique of Equality and the Fathers' Rights Movement.Serene J. Khader - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (4):48-74.
  31. added 2017-01-15
    Derrida on Law; or, Poststructuralism Gets Serious.John P. Mccormick - 2001 - Political Theory 29 (3):395-423.
  32. added 2016-12-12
    Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism.Elizabeth Grosz - 1994 - Indiana University Press.
    "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 (...)
  33. added 2016-12-12
    Womanizing Nietzsche: Philosophy's Relation to the "Feminine".Kelly Oliver - 1994 - Routledge.
    In ____Womanizing Nietzsche,__ Kelly Oliver uses an analysis of the position of woman in Nietzsche's texts to open onto the larger question of philosophy's relation to the feminine and the maternal. Offering readings from Nietzsche, Derrida, Irigaray, Kristeva, Freud and Lacan, Oliver builds an innovative foundation for an ontology of intersubjective relationships that suggests a new approach to ethics.
  34. added 2016-12-08
    The Antigone Complex: Ethics and the Invention of Feminine Desire.Cecilia Sjoholm - 2004 - Stanford University Press.
    What if psychoanalysis had chosen Antigone rather than Oedipus? This book traces the relation between ethics and desire in important philosophical texts that focus on femininity and use Antigone as their model. It shows that the notion of feminine desire is conditioned by a view of women as being prone to excesses and deficiencies in relation to ethical norms and rules. Sjöholm explains Mary Wollstonecraft’s work, as well as readings of Antigone by G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, (...)
  35. added 2016-12-08
    Judith Butler. [REVIEW]Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2003 - Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger 56 (1):75-77.
  36. added 2016-12-08
    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.
  37. added 2016-12-08
    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 (...)
  38. added 2016-12-08
    The Continental Philosophy Reader.Richard Kearney & Mara Rainwater (eds.) - 1995 - Routledge.
    _The Continental Philosophy Reader_ is the first complete anthology of classic writings from the major figures in European thought and provides a powerful introduction to one of the 20th century's most influential intellectual movements.
  39. added 2016-12-08
    Ethics of Eros: Irigaray's Re-Writing of the Philosophers.Tina Chanter - 1994 - Routledge.
    ____Ethics of Eros__ sheds light on contemporary feminist discourse by questioning the basic distinctions and categories in feminist theory. Tina Chanter uses the work of Luce Irigaray as the focus for a critique of French and Anglo-American feminism as it is articulated in the debate over essentialism. While these two branches of feminism represent opposing views, Chanter advocates a productive exchange between the two.
  40. added 2016-12-08
    The Face Before the Mirror-Stage.Cathryn Vasseleu - 1991 - Hypatia 6 (3):140-155.
    Drawing on the work of Irigaray and Levinas, this paper discusses the ethical limitations of Lacan's "mirror-stage" dynamic and interpolates a different interpretation of the material he uses to elaborate his theory. Close attention is paid to the significance of metaphors of vision and touch in the work of the three philosophers. The paper develops into an analysis of Irigaray's and Levinas's interpretations of touch as the differential site of ethics.
  41. added 2016-12-05
    An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy.Alison Stone - 2007 - Polity.
    This is the first book to offer a systematic account of feminist philosophy as a distinctive field of philosophy. The book introduces key issues and debates in feminist philosophy including: the nature of sex, gender, and the body; the relation between gender, sexuality, and sexual difference; whether there is anything that all women have in common; and the nature of birth and its centrality to human existence. An Introduction to Feminist Philosophy shows how feminist thinking on these and related topics (...)
  42. added 2016-09-17
    Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability (Winner of the Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities for 2016).Shelley Tremain - 2017 - Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  43. added 2016-08-24
    Book Review Cut of the Real by Katerina Kolozova. [REVIEW]Swami Narasimhananda - 2016 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 121 (7):576.
    This work is an intersection of gender studies, philosophy, culture studies, with pertinent aspects of subjectivity. Anyone interested in any of these fields or connected with the humanities should read this book to understand that the ‘non-philosophical discourse implies a constitutive entanglement of the real with the transcendental’ (146).
  44. added 2016-07-25
    Just Life: Bioethics and the Future of Sexual Difference.Mary C. Rawlinson - 2016 - Columbia University Press.
    Just Life reorients ethics and politics around the generativity of mothers and daughters rather than the right to property and the sexual proprieties of the Oedipal drama. Invoking two concrete universals – everyone is born of a woman and everyone needs to eat – Rawlinson rethinks labor and food as relationships that make ethical claims and sustain agency. Just Life counters the capitalization of bodies under biopower with the solidarity of sovereign bodies.
  45. added 2016-06-05
    Vulnerability, Power, and Gender: An Anthropological Mediation Between Critical Theory and Poststructuralism.Vida Pavesich - 2014 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 22 (1):3-34.
    This article addresses what philosophical anthropology may contribute to the debate between critical theory and poststructuralism. It examines one prong of Amy Allen’s critique of Judith Butler’s collapse of normal dependency into subjection. Allen is correct that Butler’s assessment of agency necessary for political action in inadequate theoretically. However, I believe that some accounting of the nature of the being for whom suffering and flourishing matter is necessary. To this end, I provide an ontogenesis of intentionality as a response to (...)
  46. added 2016-04-11
    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 (...)
  47. added 2016-03-01
    The Ethics of Vulnerability: A Feminist Analysis of Social Life and Practice.Erinn Gilson - 2013 - Routledge.
    As concerns about violence, war, terrorism, sexuality, and embodiment have garnered attention in philosophy, the concept of vulnerability has become a shared reference point in these discussions. As a fundamental part of the human condition, vulnerability has significant ethical import: how one responds to vulnerability matters, whom one conceives as vulnerable and which criteria are used to make such demarcations matters, how one deals with one’s own vulnerability matters, and how one understands the meaning of vulnerability matters. Yet, the meaning (...)
  48. added 2015-11-24
    Way Too Cool: Selling Out Race and Ethics.Shannon Winnubst - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of cool have informed the American ethos since at least the 1970s. Whether we strive for it in politics or fashion, cool is big business for those who can sell it across a range of markets and media. Yet the concept wasn't always a popular commodity. Cool began as a potent aesthetic of post-World War II black culture, embodying a very specific, highly charged method of resistance to white supremacy and the globalized exploitation of capital. (...)
  49. added 2015-07-27
    Gender, Age, and Passivity Comment on Penelope Deutscher.Ulrike Kadi - 2014 - In Silvia Stoller (ed.), Simone de Beauvoir's Philosophy of Age: Gender, Ethics, and Time. De Gruyter. pp. 43-46.
  50. added 2015-07-27
    Wonder and (Sexual) Difference: Cartesian Radicalism in Phenomenological Thinking.Sara Heinämaa - 1999 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 64:277-296.
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