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ERIC Number: ED382962
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-23
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Negotiating Gender Knowledge.
Sullivan, Mary
The argument at the heart of this paper is a struggle over the construction of the feminist composition teacher. There are traces of her construction in countless unrecorded verbal exchanges; every reference to student fears of professors, to "sensitive" men, to maternal women, to sensible feminists is such a trace. Generally speaking, publications testifying to the existence of this struggle tend toward one of two modes. One popular mode is the autobiographical account that records institutional and personal conflicts and enacts a so-called strategic essentialism. A second mode representing the struggle over the construction of the feminist compositionist may speak in the first person without being autobiographical. It takes a more traditionally scholarly approach, sometimes laced with accusation. The point is not to valorize the first mode of feminist self-critique and demonize the second. As soon as any division is made, overlapping features leap to the surface; every struggle over the category of Woman seems to include some gratitude, some sarcasm, some idealization, some frustration. Expressing dissatisfaction with feminist research has been a rhetorical dilemma for feminists convinced that oneupmanship, the agonistic protocol for scholarship, needs pacifying. It is possible that the recent celebration of feminist collaboration serves to make dissent appear less antagonistic. Where two or more feminists cooperate in their criticism of, for example, maternal metaphors, their dispute is with feminism, not against it. (Contains 14 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A