French Feminism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Alison Martin (University of Nottingham)
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Since the late 1970s “French feminism” in the anglophone academic world has signified the particular kind of thought and writing produced by certain French intellectuals, especially Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray. These writers do not in fact work together and their work does not comprise a coherent intellectual movement: Kristeva and Cixous would distance themselves from what they understand “feminism” to mean, especially in Anglo-American discourses, and Irigaray is wary of the term, requiring its definition before considering her allegiance. That said, they have all been associated in different ways with sections of the French feminist movement during their intellectual careers, and the intellectual work of Kristeva and Irigaray in particular continues to…

2037 words

Citation: Martin, Alison. "French Feminism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 December 2003 [, accessed 06 December 2023.]

1357 French Feminism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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