Philosophy and silence : reading the maternal body

Walker, Michelle Boulous (1996). Philosophy and silence : reading the maternal body PhD Thesis, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Walker, Michelle Boulous
Thesis Title Philosophy and silence : reading the maternal body
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1996
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Total pages 318
Language eng
Subjects L
20 Language, Communication and Culture
2203 Philosophy
Formatted abstract

The thesis investigates the silencing of women focusing largely on the terrain of Western philosophy. It argues that the process of silencing involves a series of strategies, amongst these exclusion, repression, denial and foreclosure. The specific claim, throughout this work, is that the maternal body occupies the site of a radical silence in the texts of philosophy, psychoanalytic theory and literature. Read symptomatically, these texts reveal a masculine imaginary that speaks for the maternal. Along with this, the complex nature of silence is itself discussed. Silence is seen to be an inappropriate concept for understanding women's relation to philosophy if it is to be understood merely in opposition to speaking or voice. After disrupting the oppositional relation between silence and language, via a discussion of non-productive poetic language practices, the thesis goes on to explore how subjectivity can be rethought in ways that make it possible to theorise women, s voice. The final section of the thesis concentrates on writing by women that challenges the authority of traditional philosophical texts. It concludes by arguing that this writing forces us to reconsider the spatial logics that typically assign women to a position exterior to symbolic speech.

Keyword Woman (Philosophy)
Women in literature

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 14 Oct 2013, 09:08:36 EST by Ms Christine Heslehurst on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service