Reading The Silences Within Critical Feminist Theory
Singh, Parlo (1997) Reading The Silences Within Critical Feminist Theory. In Muspratt, Sandy, Luke, Alan, & Freebody, Peter (Eds.) Constructing Critical Literacies: Teaching and Learning Textual Practices. Hampton Press, Cresskill. N.J., pp. 77-94.
This paper reviews the literature produced on gender and critical literacy, particularly research which has drawn on Kristeva's (1986) three tier model of women's work to inform critical feminist literacy curriculum. It examines the strengths and limitations (silences) in this literature, and then proposes an alternative reading of Kristeva which draws on the work of postcolonial theorists. A postcolonial interpretation of Kristeva's (1986) theory of how the sign or representation of `woman' is constructed enables an analysis of the `difference' within the category `woman' not only the relational `difference' symbolically constructed between `man' and `woman'. Kristeva (1986) proposes that in the space of the postmodern nation, such as Australia, symbolic representation in the form of the sign of `woman' is constituted in and through three temporal relations. Kristeva's three temporal relations can be described as: (1) Monumental time (eternity), (2) Cyclic time, and (3) Linear or cursive time. From this perspective, the present of women's time (monumental, cyclical and linear) is a zone of representational instability. That is, the representation of women in and through the sign `woman' becomes the site of continual challenge and reconstruction. It is from this instability of cultural signification that the literary canon comes to be articulated as a dialectic of various temporalities - modern, colonial, postcolonial, feminist, post feminist, poststructural feminism(s), `native', traditional - that cannot be a knowledge that is stablized in enunciation. In this time, `woman' does not signify the female body as an a priori historical presence, a discursive object; but a discursive subject constructed in the performance of the narrative.
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|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Additional Information:||This is the author’s manuscript version of the work. It is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution is permitted. For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link).|
|Keywords:||critical literacy, feminist theory, postcolonial theory|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 1997 Hampton Press|
|Deposited On:||13 Dec 2005|
|Last Modified:||09 Jun 2010 22:29|
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