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Feminist interpretations of Michel Foucault

Author: Susan J Hekman
Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, ©1996.
Series: Re-reading the canon.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Like the other books in this series, this volume seeks to bring a feminist perspective to bear on the interpretation of a major figure in the philosophical canon in the case of Michel Foucault, however, this aim is somewhat ironic because Foucault sees his work as disrupting that very canon. Since feminists see their work as similarly disruptive, Foucault and feminism would seem to find much common ground, but, as
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Named Person: Michel Foucault; Michel Foucault; Michel Foucault
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Susan J Hekman
ISBN: 0271015845 9780271015842 0271015853 9780271015859 0271032715 9780271032719
OCLC Number: 33665193
Description: ix, 320 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Michel Foucault : a "young conservative"? / Nancy Fraser --
Postmodernism and political change : issues for feminist theory / Nancy C. M. Hartsock --
Sexual inversions / Judith Butler --
Technologies of truth and function of gender in Foucault / E. L. McCallum --
Dangerous pleasures : Foucault and the politics of pedophilia / Linda Martin Alcoff --
Foucault pumped : body politics and the muscled woman / Honi Fern Haber --
Feminism, Foucault, and "subjects" of power and freedom / Jana Sawicki --
Foucault's mother / Jon Simons --
Feminism and empowerment : a critical reading of Foucault / Monique Deveaux --
Feminist mapping of Foucauldian poetics / Moya Lloyd --
Foucault on power : a theory for feminists / Amy Allen --
Philosopher's prism : Foucault, feminism, and critique / Terry K. Aladjem.
Series Title: Re-reading the canon.
Responsibility: edited by Susan J. Hekman.
More information:

Abstract:

Like the other books in this series, this volume seeks to bring a feminist perspective to bear on the interpretation of a major figure in the philosophical canon in the case of Michel Foucault, however, this aim is somewhat ironic because Foucault sees his work as disrupting that very canon. Since feminists see their work as similarly disruptive, Foucault and feminism would seem to find much common ground, but, as the contributors to this collection reveal, the matter is not so simple. Foucault, like many feminists, is centrally concerned with questions related to sexuality and the body. This concern has led both Foucault and feminists to challenge the founding concept of the modernist philosophical canon: the disembodied transcendental subject. For both Foucault and feminists, this subject must be deconstructed and a new concept of identity articulated.

The exciting possibilities of a Foucauldian approach to issues of the subject and identity, especially as they relate to sex and the body, are detailed in several of the essays collected here. Despite the possibilities, however, Foucault's approach has raised serious questions about an equally crucial area of feminist thought - politics. Some feminist critics of Foucault have argued that his deconstruction of the concept "woman" also deconstructs the possibility of a feminist politics. Several essays explore the implications of this deconstruction for feminist politics and suggest that a Foucauldian feminist politics is not viable. Overall, this collection illustrates the range of interest Foucault's thought has generated among feminist thinkers and both the advantages and liabilities of his approach for the development of feminist theory and politics.

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