The Essential Difference

The Essential Difference

Edited by Elizabeth Weed and Naomi Schor
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/22/1994
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-35093-0
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Description

What is essentialism? What is anti-essentialism? The Essential Difference attempts to answer questions at the heart of current feminist theory and cultural study. The book deals with origins and contexts of the debate; relationships between essentialism, anti-essentialism, and the power of language; reasons for the demonization of essentialism within the academy; the relationship between essentialism and Third World studies.

The essays also speculate about whether there can be an anti-essentialist feminism, whether there can in fact be a feminist politics that dispenses with the notion of Woman. This long-awaited volume questions the bases of feminism itself.

The contributors are Teresa de Lauretis, Diana Fuss, Elizabeth Grosz, Luce Irigaray, Leslie Wahl Rabine, Ellen Rooney, Robert Scholes, Naomi Schor, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

Author Bio

NAOMI SCHOR is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Romance Studies and Professor of Literature at Duke University. Her books include Breaking the Chain: Women, Theory, and French Realist Fiction, Reading in Detail: Aesthetics and the Feminine, and George Sand and Idealism. With Elizabeth Weed she is founding co-editor of differences. ELIZABETH WEED is Associate Director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. She is the editor of Coming to Terms: Feminism—Theory—Politics.

Reviews

““ . . . recommend it to anyone who is interested in questions of the body, subjectivity and sexual difference.” —Women’s Philosophy The Essential Difference attempts to answer questions at the heart of current feminist theory and cultural study: What is essentialism? What is anti-essentialism? Essays deal with origins and contexts of the debate, the power of language, and the demonization of essentialism within the academy—and whether there can be an anti-essentialist feminism.”

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