Monique Wittig: At the Crossroads of Criticism

An issue of: GLQ

Monique Wittig
Journal Issue Pages: 208 Volume 13, Number 4 Published: 2007 An issue of GLQ
Special Issue Editor(s): Brad Epps, Jonathan David Katz
“Lesbians are not women.” This (in)famous statement by renowned theorist, writer, and activist Monique Wittig marked a watershed moment in critical understandings of gender and sexuality. Wittig’s mise en question of the notion of “woman”—a term she argued was necessarily enmeshed in heterosexual and patriarchal systems of knowing—unsettled seemingly self-evident relationships between language and reality, signification and subjectivity, and even, if not especially, women and feminism. Recalling Wittig’s project and practice of lexical disidentification, by which gender and other signs of identity are ruptured and reworked, this special issue of GLQ offers a variety of often conflicting views on Wittig’s aesthetic, political, and theoretical work.

Contributors provide critical and disparate snapshots—some more theoretical and abstract, some more experiential and concrete—of debates on, and investments in, Wittig’s theoretical legacy. Judith Butler analyzes Wittig’s “particular” universalism and offers a careful exposition of her worldview. Diane Griffin Crowder studies Wittig within a context of materialist inquiry that has often been ignored or misunderstood. Robyn Wiegman examines the complex nature of memorialization and inquires into Wittig’s place in contemporary queer theory. Seth Clark Silberman, calling attention to Wittig’s fiction, reverses the usual ascendancy of critique over narrative fiction and produces a formally innovative, if willfully “parasitic,” account of Wittig’s claim on the contributor’s imagination as he watches his mother slowly die of cancer. Alice Jardine, who situates Wittig as a disruptive and disorienting force in a mother-centered feminism, provides an autobiographically charged review of the recent history of feminism, queer studies, and the still uneasy relations between them. The issue also includes a detailed introduction by Brad Epps and Jonathan Katz; a brief personal reflection by Sandra K. Soto, a close friend and colleague of Wittig’s; and two texts by Wittig, one critical (with a foreword by Sande Zeig) and the other creative, both previously unavailable in English.

Contributors. Judith Butler, Diane Griffin Crowder, Brad Epps, Alice Jardine, Jonathan Katz, Seth Clark Silberman, Sandra K. Soto, Robyn Wiegman, Monique Wittig, Sande Zeig

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Table of Contents Back to Top

1. Monique Wittig’s Materialist Utopia and Radical Critique–Brad Epps and Jonathan Katz

2. Thinking Wittig’s Differences: “Or, Failing That, Invent”–Alice Jardine

3. “I Have Access to Your Glottis”: The Fleshy Syntax, Ethical Irony, and Queer Intimacy of Monique Wittig’s Le corps lesbien¬–Seth Clark Silberman

4. From the Straight Mind to Queer Theory: Implications for Political Movement–Diane Griffin Crowder

5. Un-Remembering Monique Wittig–Robyn Wiegman

6. Wittig’s Material Practice: Universalizing a Minority Point of View–Judith Butler

7. Wittig in Aztlán–Sandra K. Soto

8. The Literary Workshop: An Excerpt– Monique Wittig, Translated by Catherine Temerson and Sande Zeig

9. The Garden–Monique Wittig, Translated by Lorie Sauble-Otto

10. Book Review: Religion Trouble¬–Mark D. Jordan

11. Books in Brief: Queer/Early/Modern by Carla Freccero–Madhavi Menon

12. Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability by Robert McRuer–Ellen Samuels

13. Morocco Bound: Disorienting America’s Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech Express by Brian T. Edwards–Margaux Cowden

14. Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity by Leerom Medovoi–Sarah E. Chinn

15. Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others by Sara Ahmed–Zachary Lamm

16. Transgender Rights edited by Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Price Minter–Amy L. Stone

17. Queer Gothic by George E. Haggerty–Christine E. Coffman

18. Priscilla, (White) Queen of the Desert: Queer Rights/Race Privilege by Damien W. Riggs– Iain Morland

19. On Monique Wittig: Theoretical, Political, and Literary Essays edited by Namascar Shaktini–Laure Murat

20. Announcement

21. About the Contributors

Additional InformationBack to Top
ISBN Paperback: 978-0-8223-6681-2
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