What kind of challenge does sexual and racial difference pose for postmodern ethics? What is the relation between ethical obligation and feminist interpretations of embodiment, passion, and eros? How can we negotiate between ethical responsibility for the Other and democratic struggles against domination, injustice, and equality, on the one hand, and internal conflicts within the subject, on the other? We cannot address such questions, Ziarek argues, without putting into dialogue discourses that have hitherto been segregated: postmodern ethics, feminism, race theory, (...) and the idea of radical democracy. Addressing a constellation of diverse thinkers - including Emmanuel Levinas, Patricia Williams, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigaray - the author proposes a new conception of ethics, an ethics of dissensus that rethinks the relation between freedom and obligation in a double context of embodiment and antagonism. (shrink)
Her study is one of the first to combine an in-depth engagement with philosophical aesthetics, especially the work of Theodor W. Adorno, with women's literary modernism, particularly the writing of Virginia Woolf and Nella Larsen, along ...
This essay situates Kristeva's theory of semiotics in the context of the controversial debate about the status of the maternal body in her work. I argue that, if we rethink the opposition between the semiotic and the symbolic as the relation between the trace and the sign, it becomes clear that the maternal semiotic is irreducible either to the prelinguistic plenitude or to the alternative symbolic position. The second part of the essay develops the connection between Kristeva's linguistic theory and (...) the alterity of the maternal body, articulated here as the in-fold of the other and the same. (shrink)
Melancholia is a hybrid concept, deployed in feminist and philosophical theories politics and aesthetics, but ‘properly” belonging to neither. This heterogeneity of melancholia as both an aesthetic and a political category allows us to interrogate the interrelationship between gender politics and aesthetics without, however, abolishing their differences. Reinterpreted in the context of a feminist aesthetics, melancholia not only points to art’s origin in the unjust and gendered division of labor and power but also to the ethical and political task of (...) art to bear witness to the mute suffering of women cut off from the signifying possibilities of language. Moving beyond the entrenched oppositions between historicism/subjectivism, subject/object, or formalism /materialism, my own approach to an aesthetics of melancholia in women’s modern novels stresses unpredictable, conflicting migrations of pain between subjects and objects, political oppression and autonomous art, language and affect. (shrink)
There are two interrelated questions that I would like to explore in the context of Pleshette DeArmitt’s work. The first one pertains to the intellectual stakes in the eloquent style of her writing, its elegance and playfulness, which accompanies the philosophical order of argumentation. And the second one refers to the issue of female friendship. How can one discuss such friendship without resorting to merely biographical, historical, or autobiographical terms? Yet what kind of philosophical theories of female friendship could I (...) possibly refer to? Perhaps to none. DeArmitt, whose life has created so many friendships, did not live long enough to write about friendship, at least not directly. And yet I would like to suggest that her captivating—the adjective that I use here deliberately—book, The Right to Narcissism: A Case for Im-possible Self-Love, leaves us traces of female friendship in her philosophical argument that narcissistic self-love is inseparable from the love of another. (shrink)
As an alternative to universalism and particularism, Intermedialities: Philosophy, Arts, Politics proposes "intermedialities" as a new model of social relations and intercultural dialogue. The concept of "intermedialities" stresses the necessity of situating debates concerning social relations in the divergent contexts of new media and avant-garde artistic practices as well as feminist, political, and philosophical analyses.