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Julia Kristeva and Feminist Thought$
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Birgit Schippers

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640898

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640898.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Julia Kristeva and Feminist Thought

Birgit Schippers

Edinburgh University Press

The Introduction positions the feminist reception of Kristeva's ideas within the diverse and heterogeneous intellectual landscape of recent feminist thought. It outlines a key argument of the book: that feminism's troubled relations with Kristeva can only be understood by attending to the plurality and heterogeneity of contemporary feminist positions. The chapter begins with a brief sketch of some of the key debates within recent feminist theory, such as the impact of difference and diversity feminism on feminist theorising, the dispute over the question of the subject, the controversy over female agency and feminist politics, the question of sexuality and its relation to the body and to gender, and the status of universality and its relationship to particularity. This is followed by a broad outline of Kristeva's intellectual heritage and position within the French intellectual scene of the 1960s and 1970s, such as her involvement with the journal and group Tel Quel, and the dispute over so-called 'French feminism'. It concludes with a methodological reflection on how to read Kristeva, and a summary of the book's chapter structure.

Keywords:   feminist theory, difference feminism, diversity feminism, the subject, female agency, feminist politics, Tel Quel, French feminism

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