Sigmund Freud and the Trauma Theory

Although Sigmund Freud himself inaugurated this field of study, he subsequently abandoned it. Early in his career, he assumed that a history of sexual seduction in childhood was responsible for the neurotic symptoms he Feminist criticism and psychoanalysis  observed in his patients. Gradually, however, he moved away from a one-to-one formulation of the relationship of… Read More Sigmund Freud and the Trauma Theory

Lesbian Film Theory and Criticism

Theoretical approaches to the cinematic representation of lesbianism represent a particularly complex and fruitful area of feminist film study, as well as one filled with substantial debate. Issues arise, for instance, concerning the exact definition of a lesbian film as well as the relationship between lesbian films and those that focus on other forms of… Read More Lesbian Film Theory and Criticism

Luce Irigaray and Psychoanalytic Feminism

In her works like Speculum of the Other Woman (translated 1985) and This Sex Which is Not One (1987), Luce Irigaray has argued that the woman has been constructed as the specular Other of man in all Western discourses. Combining Psychoanalysis, philosophy and linguistics, Irigaray’s work has been enormously influential in poststructuralist feminist thought. Irigaray’s rejection of… Read More Luce Irigaray and Psychoanalytic Feminism

Key Concepts of Michele Le Doeuff

A philosopher by profession and training Michele Le Doeuff‘s The Philosophical Imaginary (1989) argued that philosophy has a specific imaginary level intrinsic to itself. This imaginary level sets the conditions of what can be constructed as rationality within it. For Le Doeuff, images such as islands, fog, stormy seas in philosophical texts are not merely metaphorical.… Read More Key Concepts of Michele Le Doeuff

Eli Zaretsky and Socialist Feminism

Eli Zaretsky‘s Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life (1976), along with the work of Juliet Mitchell in Woman’s Estate (1974) and the writings of Zillah Eisenstein, is an important text in the socialist-feminist tradition. A brief sketch of the central concerns of Socialist Feminism is in order before we move on to Zaretsky. Socialist feminism looks at… Read More Eli Zaretsky and Socialist Feminism

Ellen Moers: An Introduction

Ellen Moers‘ Literary Women (1976) was, along with Gilbert and Gubar’s , one of the early attempts to uncover the female literary tradition. Reading a range of authors like George Eliot, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Moers presents an interactional relational model of female literary history. Moers’ work explores the influence of… Read More Ellen Moers: An Introduction

Juliet Mitchell and Psychoanalytic Feminism

Writing in the sixties and seventies, Juliet Mitchell’s work in Woman’s Estate (1971), Mitchell argued that woman’s oppression was linked to FOUR essential social structures: production, reroduction, sexuality and socialization. Mitchell sought to combine a critique of socialist thought and Psychoanalysis for feminist theory in what was one of the earliest attempts to make feminism… Read More Juliet Mitchell and Psychoanalytic Feminism