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Knowing Bodies: Emotive Embodiment in Feminist Epistemology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine how the boundaries of the body are renegotiated byapproaching emotive bodies as the power charged foundations of knowledge. Introducing thesubject, I describe the subordination of bodies and emotions in Western thought as gendered andraced. While the dichotomy between bodies and knowledge prevail in many feminist paradigms,the postmodern feminist interest in the mutually constitutive role of bodies and knowledgeproduction is seen as a dissolution of dichotomies such as nature/culture, body/mind andemotion/reason. With embodied reading as a methodological point of departure, I first analyzethe role of emotions in academic writing, and then turn to exploring the concept of the livedbody, as developed in feminist phenomenology. I touch on the intersectional potential ofemotive, embodied knowledge in my concluding discussion, “Intersecting Bodies”.In the first analytical theme, “Emotive Academic Writing”, I explore the chicana feminist MaríaLugones emotive imagery as a renegotiation of the boundaries between the bodies of writers,readers and written text. I describe emotions as materialized through embodied relations betweenwriters and readers, arguing that they are sources of knowledge about the power structures thatgovern knowledge production. I see restructuring the emotive, intersubjective relations betweensubjects of knowledge as a way to change the hierarchical differentiation of bodies in knowledgeproduction. In the second theme, “The Lived Body”, I argue that the phenomenological take onbodies and knowledge as mutually constitutive renegotiates the boundaries within bodies,between bodies, and between bodies and their surrounding world. I argue that the powersensitive approach to embodiment in feminist phenomenology opens up for feminist reliance onembodied experience, without reinstating it as essentially tied to differentiated bodies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 78 p.
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162433OAI: diva2:460587
Subject / course
Gender research
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-12-05 Created: 2011-11-30 Last updated: 2011-12-05Bibliographically approved

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