Embracing Space: Spatial Metaphors in Feminist Discourse

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 148 pages
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While there is a predominant celebration of mobility and instability metaphors in contemporary feminist discourse, concepts of home, rest, or dwelling are frequently left unproblematized and perceived as simple, static, and lacking in development potential. This study finds that despite the countless geographic and ideological overlappings in feminist thought, two basic positions may be discerned. There is a fashionable celebration of what the author calls a resisting of "bracing" space, a "site of resistance" of constant travel where all comforts of home, unity, and dwelling are programmatically to be withstood. Instead of privileging travel over dwelling in a divisively dualistic gesture, the author proposes that both travel and dwelling metaphors be radically and fruitfully deconstructed and reconstructed, and visualizes a parabolic travel-in-dwelling concept of "embracing" space. While feminism's hypertransgressive movement metaphors may be fueled by fantasies of reaching a new kind of masculinizing, transcendent dream of everywhere, which denies material limitations and functions and which continues to undervalue femininity, the "embracing" varieties of space are both more promising and more, according to this study. necessary today.

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Intro spatial metaphors. Read and noted.


Moving Out Method and Metaphor
My Place or Yours? Bodies and Separate Spheres
Material and Discursive Space
Resisting Rest Hypertransgressive Feminism
Embracing Space Endings and Beginnings

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About the author (1999)

KERSTIN W. SHANDS is an Associate Professor of English at the University College of South Stockholm. She holds a doctorate in English from Uppsala University, Sweden, and has been a visting scholar at Columbia University, New York and at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. Among her publications are Escaping the Castle of Patriarchy: Patterns of Development in the Novels of Gail Godwin (1990) and The Repair of the World: The Novels of Marge Piercy (Greenwood, 1994).

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