Yale French Studies 142 explores the contemporary relevance of an alternative strand of feminism as theorized by Monique Wittig
This volume of Yale French Studies foregrounds Monique Wittig (1935–2003), a writer who left France to live and teach in the United States, in a diverse range of multidisciplinary conversations—in literary studies, history, and gender and sexuality studies—to demonstrate how Wittig’s theoretical and literary work remains an indispensable resource for thinking and creating in the twenty-first century.
Editors Morgane Cadieu and Annabel L. Kim flip the “materialist lesbianism” that Wittig’s collection of essays, The Straight Mind, centers and describes as being the core of Wittig’s work to deal instead with “lesbian materialism,” thereby making "lesbian" the method and "materialism" the object and allowing Wittig’s work to realize its full range. The volume reinterrogates the official historiography of French materialist feminism; expands the intellectual framework within which Wittig’s work is usually considered; insists on the language-centric materialism that emerges from Wittig’s writing as a way of joining the political with the literary; and attends to the way this literary material inspires material responses and creations within the plastic arts. Underlying the entire volume is a keen sense of the materiality of Wittig’s archives, housed at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, as a site of lesbian thought in Wittig’s radical sense of the term: a fugitive positionality.
Morgane Cadieu is associate professor of French at Yale University. She is the author of Marcher au hasard: clinamen et création dans la prose du XXème siècle and On Both Sides of the Tracks: Social Mobility in Contemporary French Literature. She lives in New Haven, CT. Annabel L. Kim is the Roy G. Clouse Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and author of Unbecoming Language: Anti-Identitarian French Feminist Fictions and Cacaphonies: The Excremental Canon of French Literature. She lives in Somerville, MA.
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