How to communicate with "the other" who is culturally different from oneself is one of the greatest challenges facing North-South relations. This paper builds on existential-phenomenological and poststructuralist concepts of alterity and difference to strengthen the position of Latina and other subaltern speakers in North-South dialogue. It defends a postcolonial approach to feminist theory as a basis for negotiating culturally differentiated feminist positions in this age of accelerated globalization, migration, and displacement.
: This paper responds to comments, queries, and criticisms offered by Alcoff, Bergoffen, and Ferguson at a scholar's session on my work held at the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in October 2001. Responding to Alcoff, I highlight my understanding of liberation in the context of a Nietzschean and a Latin American feminism and the politics of conceptualizing "resistance" in postcolonial theory. Responding to Ferguson, I address, among other issues, the often misunderstood distinction between postcolonialism (...) and postmodernism, as well as related implications regarding some postcolonial feminists' qualified appeals to universals and women's rights. Responding to Bergoffen, I advocate on behalf of cultural formations supportive of the feminist affirmation of life and of radical subjectivities that challenge gender orthodoxies. (shrink)
The distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality does not allow for sufficient attention to be given to the question of non-normative heterosexualities. This paper develops a feminist critique of normative sexuality, focusing on alternative readings of sex and/or gender offered by Beauvoir and Irigaray. Despite their differences, both accounts contribute significantly to dismantling the lure of normative sexuality in heterosexual relations-a dismantling necessary to the construction of a feminist social and political order.
In this paper I want to pursue some variations on Hegelian philosophy, some responses and elaborations of aspects of Hegel’s thought, which have appeared in Latin America, and which contribute to a new understanding of the philosophical experience as it has taken place in Latin America.
In Speculum of the Other Woman (1974), Luce Irigaray argues that "any theory of the subject has always been appropriated by the masculine." This paper offers an analysis of Irigaray's critique of subjectivity and examines the psychological mechanism referred to as "the phallic economy of castration." A different way of conceiving the relation between subject and object is explored by imagining a new subject of desire.
In Speculum of the Other Woman, Luce Irigaray argues that “any theory of the subject has always been appropriated by the masculine.” This paper offers an analysis of Irigaray's critique of subjectivity and examines the psychological mechanism referred to as “the phallic economy of castration.” A different way of conceiving the relation between subject and object is explored by imagining a new subject of desire.
This is a unique, groundbreaking collection of autobiographical essays by leading women in philosophy. It provides a glimpse at the experiences of the generation that witnessed, and helped create, the remarkable advances now evident for women in the field.
From the most prominent thinkers in Latin American philosophy, literature, politics, and social science comes a challenge to conventional theories of globalization. The contributors to this volume imagine a discourse in which revolution requires no temporalized march of progress or takeovers of state power but instead aims at local control and the material conditions for human dignity.
This paper articulates a methodological strategy for creating a “conceptual home” whose aim is the enabling and promotion of Latin American feminist philosophy in the context of Latin American feminist theory's concern for the relationship between theory and practice. The author argues that philosophy as a discipline is still too compromised by masculine-dominant, Anglocentric, and Eurocentric ways of representing knowledge such that discursive and ideological impediments make it difficult to conceive and develop ways of feminist theorizing that arise from an (...) interpellation of the philosopher by the Latin American conditions affecting her social and cultural life. The author offers a fourfold approach to grounding knowledge, based on the principles of pursuing a critical approach to knowledge, a concern for the relationship of theory and practice, an orientation toward progressive political projects of freedom and liberation in the context of Latin American history and politics, and a transformative politics of culture. It is argued that through such specific methodological concerns, Latin American feminist philosophy can attain a distinct identity and stop depending for its articulation on paradigms of knowledge whose premises are not necessarily best attuned to understand the issues it must confront in its sociocultural practice. (shrink)
It may be that the process of socialization is generally thought to depend upon the development of the slave consciousness. It appears that at present the type of indoctrination a child receives when he or she is socialized by parents and teachers is the general way in which a society makes sure it transmits its values from one generation to the next. If this is so, the analysis of the slave consciousness we have been pursuing would fundamentally call into question (...) the benefits that are to be expected from this most pervasive and fundamental social practice. The development of the heteronomous conscience does not simply guarantee that the citizen will comply with the standards of society; it also guarantees that individuals will develop (some to a greater extent than others) such socially disruptive attitudes as a revengeful sense of justice and a psychological predisposition toward envy. Furthermore, given the massive amounts of social inequality and injustice characterizing many contemporary societies, the combination of economic and psychological factors almost guarantees a tacit or explicit level of frustration which will often erupt into violence. This violence is senseless, repeated, and pervasive because it is nothing but the nourishment needed by the slave consciousness to maintain itself in power. Exploitation, murder, rape, war, the nuclear weapons contest, the polarization of groups against each other, etc., are manifestations of a consciousness that always has to outdo itself vis-à-vis the other. As Nietzsche (1966, p. 140) observed, “Thus the will, the liberator, took to hurting; and on all who can suffer, it wreaks revenge for its inability to go backward [to a condition of autonomy].” With the liberation of imagination and memory, and a combined dedication to fighting all forms of social injustice, however, one can begin to transform society in ways that will confirm rather than deny the human aspiration for harmony and freedom. (shrink)
This autobiographical essay addresses the author’s evolution as a Latin American/Latina philosopher in the United States, focusing on a shift of perspectives she undertook through the 1970s and ’80s as she gradually became more engaged with her own Latin American cultural roots. She traces the complex conditions that allowed her to pursue a systematic interest in Latin American philosophy and to defend the philosophical methodologies needed to sustain it. Showing how philosophical dialogue across cultures can break down at times but (...) also how it can overcome its ruptures, she argues that thinking critically at the limits means enacting the possibility of listening to underrepresented or ›new‹ speakers. She claims that this involves the ability to cross the gap between the conventional and the new and that a far richer philosophical life is possible when full attention is given to the voices of women, underrepresented others, and philosophers from the global South. (shrink)
Colonialism and Its Legacy brings together essays by leading scholars in both the fields of political theory and the history of political thought about European colonialism and its legacies, and postcolonial social and political theory. The essays explore the ways in which European colonial projects structured and shaped much of modern political theory, how concepts from political philosophy affected and were realized in colonial and imperial practice, and how we can understand the intellectual and social world left behind by a (...) half-millennium of European empires. (shrink)