Is there such a thing as “woman writing”?: Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler and writing as gendered experience

Angelaki 22 (1):23-33 (2017)

Sylvie Gambaudo
Durham University
The article revisits the idea that writing may be gendered and asks whether we can define what a “woman writing” practice might be. We do this through a comparative study of the work of Julia Kristeva and Judith Butler. Both have expressed reservations about, even objected to, the essentializing of gender and therefore of writing as a woman. They have, however, provided us with useful tools to define what a non-essentialist understanding of “woman” might entail. The article proposes to do three things: first, to look at the way each author presents “woman” and what I term “woman writing” in their work; second, to find, beyond epistemic differences, the common grounds shared by the two authors; and third, to clarify the places where the two disagree. In a concluding part, we will highlight how that disagreement is reconciled in revisiting Kristeva’s and Butler’s use of loss in their apprehension of “woman,” allowing us to formulate a non-essentialist definition of “woman writing.”
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DOI 10.1080/0969725x.2017.1285605
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Undoing Gender.J. Butler - 2004 - Routledge.
The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection.J. Butler - 1997 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 46 (6):1016.
Strangers to Ourselves.Julia Kristeva - 1991 - Columbia University Press.

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