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WEEK 12: Feminism
19 November

Linda Alcoff says concisely, "For many contemporary feminist theorists, the concept of a woman is a problem" ("Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism," The Second Wave, ed. L. Nicholson [Routledge, 1997], p. 330). How does Irigaray define gender? Is that definition essential to the practice of criticism?

How does gender relate to literary discourse? What do you make of Gilbert and Gubar's claim that "verse genres have been even more thoroughly male than fictional ones"? How are genres gendered? Do we distinguish betweens a gendered means of production and a gendered text?

Consider the roles of the Muse (Plath's Daddy?), figurative language, sentiment and rationaltiy, knowledge as women's knowledge, representation, power, and the means of literary production.



1) Speculum of the Other Woman, Luce Irigaray (Cornell, 1985). All.