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Reading: The Ends of an Idiom, or Sexual Difference in Translation

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The Ends of an Idiom, or Sexual Difference in Translation

Author:

Anne-Emmanuelle Berger

University of Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, FR
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Abstract

In “The Ends of an Idiom: ‘Sexual Difference’ in Translation,” Anne Emmanuelle Berger reflects on the different uses and meanings of the notion of “sexual difference” in the Francophone and Anglophone worlds. “Sexual difference” was elevated to the status of a quasi-concept by psychoanalysis and became subsequently one of the key terms in thinking about sex and gender. Looking at the pluralization of its uses and the inflection of its meaning in North-American gender and queer theory, the author stresses its “becoming-queer” and ponders over the contemporary queering of feminist thought. Through her examination of the unending differentiations of the meaning of “sexual difference”, she seeks to bring out the conceptual heterogeneity – in her eyes as irreducible as it is productive – of the theoretical field of gender studies. This is also a way of interrogating the modes of constitution of the Franco-Anglo-American theoretical axis, which has dominated feminist thought in the 20th century.

How to Cite: Berger, Anne-Emmanuelle. 2014. “The Ends of an Idiom, or Sexual Difference in Translation”. Redescriptions: Political Thought, Conceptual History and Feminist Theory 17 (1): 44–67. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7227/R.17.1.3
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Published on 01 Apr 2014.
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