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Record Type: Review   ID: 326

Feminist Studies/Criticial Studies

De Lauretis, Teresa. (Ed.).

 This is not a new collection but it is still one of the best. It is often cited. It consists of revisions of papers presented at a 1985 conference at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The conference was held at a key period when it was both necessary to assess the nature of any changes in academe spearheaded by feminist studies and to examine feminist studies themselves to see whether they were stalemated or moving forward. Consideration was given to "whether they have produced new forms and methods of knowledge, or … new knowledges, and thus reshaped at once the field and the object of knowledge, as well as the conditions of knowing" (p. 3). Equal consideration was given to whether feminist studies have reconstituted women—"women as social subject, as subject of both knowledge and knowing" (p. 3). De Lauretis points out in her chapter that feminist studies have been redefining "identity and consciousness" (p. 10). This is why we have a section on feminist thought in this Journal and why many documents are abstracted here that may not contain a reference to any form of exceptional human experience. Exceptional Human Experience is concerned with ways in which exceptional human experience changes identity and culture, and feminist studies are therefore relevant because what they say about identity and culture is more hospitable to EHEs than the current androcentric worldview. In addition to De Lauretis’s chapter on "issues, terms, and contexts," of special relevance are "Lab Coat: Robe of Innocence or Klansman’s Sheet?" by Ruth Bleier; "Making Gender Visible in the Pursuit of Nature’s Secrets" by Evelyn Fox Keller; "A Desire of One’s Own: Psychoanalytic Feminism and Intersubjective Space" by Jessica Benjamin; "Changing the Subject: Authorship, Writing, and the Reader," by Nancy K. Miller (a classic); "Feminism and the Power of Interpretation: Some Critical Readings" by Tania Modleski, and "Considering Feminism as a Model for Social Change" by Sheila Radford-Hill. To follow any feminist argument is mind opening. To think productively about EHEs, we must open our minds until the lid blows off—the lid that keeps us from asking the right questions.
Publisher Information:Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986. 234p. Chap. notes; Contributors: 230-231
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