Abstract

Abstract:

Abstraction, objectivity, impersonality, and universality are all faculties of theory which have frequently roused theory’s ire. Although this ire characterizes such diverse tendencies as queer anti-nomianism, postcolonialism, rote deconstruction, and vitalist materialism, it gestates most abidingly in feminism. Thus feminist theorists have often understood their work as the rejection of generalization, conceptuality, phallogocentrism, and even argument, promoting instead a standpoint epistemology and écriture feminine which sacralizes particularization, hybridization, concretization, testimony, and genre-blending. Taking stock of these tendencies and trends, this essay asks whether the theoretical project of feminism, including its practical license, is well served by the perpetual eschewal of theory’s abstractions, and it answers “no.”

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