Luce Irigaray and Premodern Culture: Thresholds of History (Hardback) book cover

Luce Irigaray and Premodern Culture

Thresholds of History

Edited by Elizabeth D. Harvey, Theresa Krier

© 2005 – Routledge

196 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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The essays in this groundbreaking collection stage conversations between the thought of the controversial feminist philosopher, linguist and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray and premodern writers, ranging from Empedocles and Homer, to Shakespeare, Spenser and Donne. They explore both the pre-Enlightenment roots of Luce Irigaray's thought, and the impact that her writings have had on our understanding of ancient, medieval and Renaissance culture.

Luce Irigaray has been a major figure in Anglo-American literary theory, philosophy and gender studies ever since her germinal works, Speculum of the Other Woman and This Sex Which Is Not One, were published in English translation in 1985. This collection is the first sustained examination of Irigaray's crucial relationship to premodern discourses underpinning Western culture, and of the transformative effect she has had on scholars working in pre-Enlightenment periods. Like Irigaray herself, the essays work at the intersections of gender, theory, historicism and language.

This collection offers powerful ways of understanding premodern texts through Irigaray's theories that allow us to imagine our past and present relationship to economics, science, psychoanalysis, gender, ethics and social communities in new ways.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Future Anteriors: Luce Irigaray's Transmutations of the Past2. Mére Marine: Narrative and Natality in Homer and Virgil 3. What Does Matter Want? Irigaray, Plotinus, and the Human Condition 4. Coming into the Word: Desdemona's Story 5. 'Mutuall Elements': Irigaray's Donne 6. Spenser's Marine Unconscious7. 'That Glorious Slit': Irigaray and the Medieval Devotion to Christ's Side Wound 8. Early Modern Blazons and the Rhetoric Wonder: Turning Towards an Ethics of Sexual Difference9. Gynephobia and Culture Change: An Irigarayan Just-So Story 10. The Commodities Dance: Exchange and Escape in Irigaray's Quand nos lèvres se parlent and Catherine Des Roches' Dialogue d'Iris et Pasithèe 11. Afterword

About the Editors

Teresa Krier is Professor of English at Macalester College, and is author of Gazing on Secret Sights: Spenser, Classical Imitation, and the Decorums of Vision; and Birth Passages: Maternity and Nostalgia, Antiquity to Shakespeare. She is the editor of Refiguring Chaucer in the Renaissance. Elizabeth D. Harvey is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto. She is the author of Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and English Renaissance Texts; the co-editor of Women and Reason; and Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Seventeenth Century English Poetry; and editor of Sensible Flesh: On Touch in Early Modern Culture. She is currently completing a book on early modern literature and medicine, Inscrutable Organs.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture

From Shakespeare to Jonson, Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture looks at both the literature and culture of the early modern period. This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering literature alongside theatre, popular culture, race, gender, ecology, space, and other subjects, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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