Author(s): Barbara S Morrison
Feminist theorists over the past 30 years, while rejecting any sort of univocal trajectory in coming to “grips” with constructions of the body as a site for material and social practice in culture and literature, have generated and embraced a pluralization of bodies of knowledge concerning the female body. Among these pluralizations of bodies of knowledge, as theorized by post-structuralist theoretical feminists such as Helene Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva, and by feminists of the Anglo-American tradition such as Martha Nussbaum and Judith Butler, the body is read consistently as a symbolic/semiotic construct. The trajectory of all of these feminist scholars is adumbrated and permeated with the specter of Gayatri Spivak, a scholar whose own contributions are vested throughout the theoretical scaffolding of these prolific feminist thinkers. Spivak (as a feminist deconstructionist) is relentless in her questioning of hegemonic forms of discourse – a hegemony that she interrogates on a global scale.