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ERIC Number: ED432508
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Laughing within Reason: On Pleasure, Women, and Academic Performance.
McWilliam, Erica
In the formal settings of universities, all academics regulate themselves constantly, including how and when they laugh. This paper considers the matter of pleasure and women's scholastic and pedagogical work, and how it has come to be understood. The paper explores the idea that pleasure is taken "within reason," drawing on Michel Foucault's (1985) work to examine the relationship between feelings such as pleasure and modes of rationality. It then moves to situate pleasure within a western historical tradition, noting how pleasure-as-fun has been framed outside bourgeois traditions of conduct, including subversive traditions. Carnival is examined more precisely as a site of fun whose remembering could be productive for women in the academy. Mary Russo's "The Female Grotesque" (1994) is used to elaborate this point. The fact that fun so often eludes feminism as an academic performance is then explored more fully using two exemplars from feminist writing. Also the author comments on Camille Paglia's (1995) idea that "all roads from Rousseau lead to Sade." The reader is brought to consider the value of playful irony for academic women, arguing for a reconsideration of its legitimacy alongside, not instead of, advocacy. Includes 4 notes; contains 16 references. (BT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A