Feminist Aporetics: On Negativity and Alterity Público

Parker, Emily Anne (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/02870w45n?locale=es


Abstract Feminist Aporetics: On Negativity and Alterity By Emily Parker Escalating feminist disagreement over the status of the name "women" locates a deeper question of feminist subjectivity: is the feminist that which theorizes a subjectivity that does not yet exist (a new woman "becoming") or is the feminist moment precisely in preemption or critique of the very grounds for subjectivity? This dissertation develops a feminist response to Theodor Adorno by asking where the figure of Antigone, Sophocles' tragic heroine, might be figured in Adorno's Negative Dialectics. In doing so, I offered an Adornian contribution to feminist theories of subjectivity by arguing that the feminist exists in the aporia between thinking the political salience of the dialectic (the political opposition of object to a presumed, neutral subjectivity) and the immanent critique of dialectics. An interpretation of the disagreement among Judith Butler, Naomi Zack, Luce Irigaray regarding the significance of Antigone's resistance invokes the question of feminist subjectivity. In the final three chapters, aporetic interpretations of the feminist, that in which the feminist consists, are explored in the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Eve Sedgwick and Gayatri Spivak, respectively. This project speaks to more general questions of the political and the ethical, self and knowledge through the articulation of the question of subjectivity as a primary ethical and political question.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgements Introduction 1 Chapter One Aporia and the Question of Feminist Subjectivity 17 Chapter Two Negativity and the Nonidentical: Negative Dialectics and Feminist Aporetics 56 Chapter Three Claiming Antigone: Butler, Zack, Irigaray 99 Chapter Four Erotic Freedom and Woman as Other: Two Themes in Beauvoir 149 Chapter Five Impasse and Aporia: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Tropes of Gender 200 Chapter Six Strategic Use of Essentialism and the Question of Subaltern Speech: On Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's Living Reading 236 Conclusion 280 Works Cited 288

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