Contemporary feminist theorists have implied a special affinity between women and irony because of their ‘double’ relation to the prevailing order of things: both speak from within this order while remaining ‘other’ to it in some way. Irony can be regarded as the obvious mode in which a feminist might speak, as it reflects her relation to the patriarchal structure while refusing to validate the truth of the current sexual hierarchy.
She Changes by Intrigue undertakes the first sustained analysis of the parallels between irony, femininity and feminism. By retracing the association of these terms through canonical and contemporary continental philosophy, the book seeks to illuminate a notion of sexual agency that has until now remained shadowy, in spite of its prevalence.
Examining the recurrence of the ‘ironic feminine’ in texts by Kristeva, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Irigaray, Derrida and Kofman, it argues that a radical revaluation of the legacy of patriarchal thought in feminism is necessary before irony can be embraced as a feminist strategy. In this context,
She Changes by Intrigue offers a new reading of what it means to write as a feminist ‘subject’.
This volume will be of interest to students and academics working in the fields of gender studies, continental philosophy and critical / cultural theory.
Japan, Russia, and Turkey are major examples of countries with different ethnic, religious, and cultural background that embarked on the path of modernization without having been colonized by a Western country. In all three cases, national consciousness has played a significant role in this context. The project of Modernity is obviously of European origin, but is it essentially European? Does modernization imply loss of a country’s cultural or national identity? If so, what is the “fate” of the modernization process in these cases? The presence of the idea and reality of civil society can be considered a real marker of Modernity in this respect, because it presupposes the development of liberalism, individualism and human rights. But are these compatible with nationalism and with the idea of a national religion?
These questions are the more pressing, as Japan is considered part of the Western world in many respects, and Russia and Turkey are defining their relation to the European Union in different ways. An investigation of these three countries, set off against more general reflections, sheds light on the possibilities or limitations of modernization n a non-European context.