Theorizing Gender: Thinking and Using Theory Differently

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
East Duke Parlors

Chair

Priscilla Wald (Duke English Department and Women’s Studies)

Papers

“Concepts in Feminist Theory”
Elizabeth Grosz (Duke Women’s Studies and Literature)

“Turning Theory into a Historical Practice: A Case of Gender”
Anna Krylova (Duke History Department and Women’s Studies)

Panel Abstract

The panelists address a paradoxical state of the debate in gender theory and history which posits the gender category as "variable," "fluid," changing," and, at the same time, characterizes its work in academic literature as "fixing," "reinscribing," and "reifying" of the very heteronormative oppositional binary it was supposed to deconstruct. They derive from this ongoing controversy a story about how a pioneering agenda formed around poststructuralist presumptions of instability of cultural form could reify the cultural terms under its critical analysis. This panel will focus on how concepts and theories may function differently.

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