Decolonising Gender: Literature, Enlightenment and the by Liz Thompson

By Liz Thompson

Via exam of the features of language and cross-cultural readings of literature – from African queer examining to postcolonial Shakespeare – Rooney explores the character of the true, offering: a fashion out of a few of the present deadlocks of feminist thought an anti-essentialist method of gender during which either female and male readers may well tackle a awareness of the female a platform for postcolonial and postmodernist thinkers to have interaction in a discussion round the prestige of the performative in regard to the opposite a brand new idea of poetic realism in either canonical and postcolonial literatures a re-reading of the Enlightenment legacy by way of postcolonial liberation concept a comparability of latest debates at the genuine around the humanities and the sciences. Exploring present rules of performativity in literature and language, and negotiating a direction among feminist theory’s universal pitfalls of essentialism and constructivism, Caroline Rooney argues convincingly that by rethinking our knowing of gender we'd additionally equip ourselves to resist racism and totalitarianism extra successfully.

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The third lecture of Antigone’s Claim is entitled ‘Promiscuous Obedience’. It would seem that Butler conceives of this much more according to the manner of Hall’s text rather than that of Woolf ’s. What could clarify this question of obedience is that there is a distinction to be made between a logo-centric performativity and creative performance. Logo-centric 26 From monstrosity and techno-performativity to sumud performativity is precisely the performativity of a repetition compulsion, a capitalist, bureaucratic performativity or a techno-performativity such as we find in those Teaching Quality and other such assessment exercises that express themselves in a rhetoric of effectivity and efficiency: ‘say what you do; do what you say you do’.

Butler disdains what she considers to be a liberal position of empty formalism: [C]onsider the liberal gesture in which one maintains that the place of the father and the place of the mother are necessary, but hey, anyone of any From monstrosity and techno-performativity to sumud 23 gender can fill them. The structure is purely formal, its defenders say, but note how its very formalism secures the structure against critical challenge. (p. 71) What thus seems to be sought is something more literal than this formalism.

What I had anticipated’, ‘What struck me first . . ’. What follows is that Antigone is somewhat made over into Butler’s own image as she is turned into a heroine – or, as it turns out to be, hero – of the performative speech act and emerges as something of an alibi for queer families or non-normative familial social arrangements. As will be seen, my concern with this is that Antigone may pertain to what cannot be personalised or privatised, a broad question of collective existence. Butler begins her exploration of Antigone through attending to what she calls ‘Antigone’s claim’.

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