We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

Fantasies of Gender and the Witch in Feminist Theory and Literature

by Justyna Sempruch

Publication Year: 2008

In her book Fantasies of Gender and the Witch in Feminist Theory and Literature, Justyna Sempruch analyses contemporary representations of the "witch" as a locus for the cultural negotiation of genders. Sempruch revisits some of the most prominent traits in past and current perceptions in feminist scholarship of exclusion and difference.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF (256.1 KB)
pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (90.0 KB)
pp. v-

Acknowledgements

pdf iconDownload PDF (225.1 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (298.9 KB)
pp. 1-11

Focusing on the contemporary representations of the "witch" as a locus for the cultural negotiation of genders, in this book I revisit some of the most prominent traits in past and current feminist perceptions of exclusion and difference. I examine a selection of twentieth-century North American (U.S. and Canadian) and European narratives to reveal the continued political relevance of metaphors sustained in the fantasy of the "witch," widely thought...

read more

Chapter One. Functions and Risks of Radical Feminist "Witches"

pdf iconDownload PDF (493.2 KB)
pp. 12-58

While rereading the radical feminist versions of the "witch" figure in 1970s scholarship, it is possible to conclude that no matter who she is, or whom she supposedly represents, the "witch" remains a benevolent "wise-woman," a victim of phallogocentric hegemonies. This particular identity construction derives from mythic stories of the "Burning Times" and beliefs in the "Craft of the Wise," both drawing on the historically documented medieval and postmedieval European witch-craze. Following Diane Purkiss, most of these "mythic" sources...

read more

Chapter Two. Splitting the Feminist Subject

pdf iconDownload PDF (570.2 KB)
pp. 59-118

The theory and narratives discussed in this chapter shift our attention from the witch as a fantasmatic therapy of a/the woman in culture towards an archaic mother of the semiotic. This archaic figure is of importance here in the context of feminist identifications with the loss of the semiotic mother rather than the loss of the symbolic phallus. The concept of the archaic mother as a continuous separation has been thoroughly explored...

read more

Chapter Three. The Embarrassed "etc." at the End of the List

pdf iconDownload PDF (528.3 KB)
pp. 119-171

Building on feminist reconstructions of the hysteric and the archaic mother discussed in previous chapters, I set out to examine the conceptual knots that confuse and hold together historical and contemporary identifications of subjectivity with the social meaning of the symbolic. The constitutive and primary importance of "sexual difference" (Irigaray) within...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF (225.1 KB)
pp. 172-173

Based on tenets of the framework of comparative cultural studies, a framework that pays particular attention to all minorities, the marginal, and the Other and embraces a nonessentialist world view, the narratives analyzed in the first chapter of my book illustrate the second-wave feminist sense of urgency and the need to create a common identification with the historical...

Works Cited

pdf iconDownload PDF (317.2 KB)
pp. 174-182

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (1016.6 KB)
pp. 183-190


E-ISBN-13: 9781612490281
E-ISBN-10: 161249028X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557534910
Print-ISBN-10: 1557534918

Page Count: 198
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Comparative Cultural Studies
Series Editor Byline: Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek