This reading group will explore the entwinement of sexual difference with other forms of difference be they lived within race or ethnicity, class, age, geography, sexual orientation, educational background, cultural capital, political ideology, or other structures of experience. Our readings will be drawn from traditions of sexual difference feminism in particular the provocations of Luce Irigaray and her interested critics. Although we will explore ways in which violence dictates our experience of difference, our primary focus will be on theories of differences as progressive political and artistic incitements. We seek to explore difference in terms of wonder and productive collaboration.
Our hope is to gather a group of participants who can speak to some of the conflicts and contradictions of sexual difference theory as it touches on practices of political organizing and artistic production. It is crucial (for us) that we gather people from a multitude of backgrounds who regard themselves as politically engaged and those who do not; those who actively engage theory in their work with those who generally do not. The group will follow a consensus process, in remembrance of Occupy, and moderated round table talks. We hope the use of these forms will facilitate a range of participation. We are not beholden to these structures or overly optimistic in their power to redress existing disparities of power and entitlement to speech. We only hope that the formal constraints we use will be fun, productive and open to disagreement.
We ask that people come to the first meeting prepared to talk about what brings them to the group and discuss ways of structuring our participation. We also regard this meeting as a chance to introduce some of the readings, debate their relevance to our goals and consider any recommendations for further reading or new areas of exploration. We have recommended readings for the second and third sessions below and outlined further areas of potential exploration for your consideration.
Session I - Introduction to Group
Session II Suggested Readings- Introductions to Sexual Difference Feminism
Elizabeth Grosz. Chapter 9 of becoming undone “Sexual Difference as Sexual Selection; Irigarayian reflections on Darwin”pgs 143-168 of Becoming Undone. Duke University Press. 2011
Luce Irigaray. “Sexual Difference.” Collected in French Feminist Thought. Toril Moi Editor. Wiley-Blackwell. 1st edition (January 15, 1991)
Interview with Luce Irigaray: “Je-Luce Irigaray” Hypatia Vol. 10 No. 2 Spring 1995 pgs 93-114. Elizabeth Hirsh, Gary A. Olson and Gaeton Brulotte
Pheng Cheah, Elizabeth Grosz, Judith Butler and Drucilla Cornell. The Future of Sexual Difference: An Interview with Judith Butler and Drucilla Cornell. Diacritics.
Milan Women’s Bookstore Collective. Sexual Difference; A Theory of Social-Symbolic Practice. Theresa de Laurentis editor. Chapter 1 pages 35-56.
Session III. Various readings exploring the relation between political theory and Sexual Difference Feminisms.
Rosi Braidotti and Judith Butler. “Feminism by Any Other Name.” Differences. A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies . Vol. 6, No. 2-3, 1994. pp. 27-61.
Luce Irigaray. Democracy Begins Between Two. Introduction and Chapter 1 I Want Love, Not War. Pgs. 1-29.
Luisa Muraro. Symbolic Independence from Power. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 5, no. 1, 2009
Penelope Deutscher. “A Politics of Impossible Difference” Chapter 1. Sexual Difference as a Basis for Equality: An Introduction to Irigarayian Politics. Pgs. 7-23
Iris Marion Young. Justice and the Politics of Difference. Chapter 6, Social Movements and the Politics of Difference. Pgs. 156-183. Princeton. 1990.
Alison Stone. The Sex of Nature: A Reinterpretation of Irigaray's Metaphysics and Political Thought. Hypatia, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 60-84
Amy Baehr. Feminist Politics and Feminist Pluralism: Can We Do Feminist Theory Without Theories of Gender? The Journal of Political Philosophy: Volume 12, Number 4, 2004, pp. 411–436
Clemence X. Clementine and Associates from the Infinite Venom Girl Gang. Against the Couple Form. From LIES vol. 1 2012.