Entanglements and Weavings: Diffractive Approaches to Gender and Love


This edited volume focuses on gender and love as emerging through complex “entanglements and weavings”. At a time when constructionist ideas are losing support, we interrogate theoretical paradigms to assess if constructionist notions still hold value or if new approaches are needed to address the effects of materiality and non-human agency. Without claiming any unison or definite answers, we offer situated, agential cuts into gender and love in various discursive-material phenomena, including Biblical and Rabbinic literature, ecosexual performance art, the writings of Ursula Le Guin and Angela Carter, butch identities, Bengali folktales, Ferzan Özpetek’s cinema, Golem literature, sexual pursuits in Danish nightlife, mother-daughter relationships, women warriors in the PKK, and BDSM performances. Artistic photographer Sara Davidmann has contributed to the book with the cover illustration and a creative afterword including seven photographs on the interaction between the photographer, her studio, and LGBTQ+ people.

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Deirdre C. Byrne, Ph.D. (1996), is Professor of English at the University of South Africa. She has written on Ursula Le Guin’s poetry, co-edited Fluid Gender, Fluid Love (Brill, 2018), and is the editor of Scrutiny2: Issues in English Studies in Southern Africa.

Marianne Schleicher, Ph.D. (2003), is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. She has authored Intertextuality in the Tales of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav (Brill, 2007) and has written extensively on gender and the function of scripture in Jewish religion.
 List of Illustration
 Notes of Contributors

Deirdre C. Byrne and Marianne Schleicher

Part 1: Reflections on theory

1 Effects of Materiality in Israelite-Jewish Conceptions of Gender and Love: on a Necessary Synthesis of Constructionist and New Materialist Approaches
Marianne Schleicher

2 For Love of the World: Material Entanglements in Ecosexual Performance
Louis van den Hengel

3 “Yet the old woman will not sleep”: reading Motherhood in Ursula K. Le Guin’s Writing
Deirdre C. Byrne

Part 2: Materiality in creative texts

4 Butch: a Cartography of Desire
Kelly Gardiner

5 Materiality and Agential Women in Animal Bridegroom Fairy Tales from Europe and Bengal
Amrita Chakraborty

6 Becoming-Woman in Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve
Wernmei Yong Ade

Part 3: Fluid identities in heterotopic spaces

7 Ferzan Özpetek’s Cinema: a Post-Constructionist Approach to Gender and Love
Dikmen Yakalı-Çamoğlu

8 Love and Monsters: gender, Autonomy and Desire in Modern Golem Literature
Alana Vincent

9 Drinking, Dancing and Hooking Up: young Adults in Sexual Pursuit in Mainstream Nightlife in Denmark
Mie Birk Jensen

Part 4: Social relata

10 Love in Different Climates: love, Care and Practices of Intimacy among Women in Hong Kong and Britain
Stevi Jackson and Petula Sik Ying Ho

11 New Arrangements of Embodiment, Materiality, Love and Gender in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party
Mustafa Kemal Topal

12 Bound and Entangled: masculinities, Embodiment and the Materialisation of Gender in the Sexual Field of the BDSM Club
Serena Petrella

Part 5: Afterword
13 Eve, Adam and the Garden of Earthly Delights
Sara Davidmann

Students and scholars from multiple academic discplines (including religion, literary criticism and theory, cultural studies, philosophy, sociology and anthropology) as well as artists engaged in reflections on gender and/or love.
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