Returning to Irigaray

Feminist Philosophy, Politics, and the Question of Unity

Edited by Maria C. Cimitile & Elaine P. Miller

Subjects: Women's Studies
Series: SUNY series in Gender Theory
Paperback : 9780791469200, 342 pages, November 2006
Hardcover : 9780791469194, 342 pages, November 2006

Table of contents

Elaine P. Miller, Maria C. Cimitile
1. Reading Irigaray (and Her Readers) in the Twenty-First Century
Gail Schwab
2. A New Economy of Relations
Krzysztof Ziarek
3. Beyond Performativity and Against ‘Identification’: Gender and Technology in Irigaray
Ann V. Murphy
4. Reconsidering Irigaray’s Aesthetics
Elaine P. Miller
5. Vision, Recognition, and a Passion for the Elements
Kelly Oliver
6. Between East and West and the Politics of ‘Cultural Ingénuité’: Irigaray on Cultural Difference
Penelope Deutscher
7. Irigaray’s Couples
Debra Bergoffen
8. Between Two: Civil Identity and the Sexed Subject of Democracy
Emily Zakin
9. Irigaray and the Culture of Narcissism
Margaret Whitford
10. Knowing the Other: Ethics and the Future of Psychoanalysis
Catherine Peebles
11. On Luce Irigaray’s Phenomenology of Intersubjectivity: Between the Feminine Body and Its Other
Sara Heinämaa
12. Irigaray in Dialogue with Heidegger
Maria C. Cimitile
Bibliography of Works by Luce Irigaray
Compiled by Sara McNamara

Notes on Contributors

Leading scholars examine the relation between Irigaray’s early writings and her later, more political work.


Luce Irigaray is one of the most influential philosophers and theorists in the field of feminist thought, and her work is considered both revolutionary and controversial. This volume offers the first critical assessment of the relation of her early critical and poetic writings to her later political and practical philosophy. Contributors examine how the question of sexual difference has unfolded in a wealth of different directions in Irigaray's later work, focusing on the areas of nature and technology, social and political theory and praxis, ethics, psychoanalysis, and phenomenology. They also address whether there has been a radical conceptual "turn" in Irigaray's thought by exploring the idea of a "turn" as a return to themes that have concerned her all along. The essays contend that Irigaray's writings should be read, criticized, or promoted within the context of her overall philosophical project.

Maria C. Cimitile is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Grand Valley State University. Elaine P. Miller is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Miami University in Ohio and author of The Vegetative Soul: From Philosophy of Nature to Subjectivity in the Feminine, also published by SUNY Press.


"Cimitile and Miller aim to uncover the breadth of Irigaray's writing, and see 'returning to Irigaray' as a return to themes that have consistently concerned her. " — CHOICE

"The topic is significant and relevant, especially in order to connect theory and more practical, militant writings in an author whose importance is unquestionable. The unity of Irigaray's writings is certainly a question within the field of women's studies, but, more in general, the issue of how to concretize one's theoretical approach is a perennial interrogation for those philosophers who dare to accept the challenge of their times. In the passage from her earlier, theoretical writings to her later, more militant ones, Irigaray offers us an exemplification of how to engage one's epoch seriously, and this is what is under consideration in this volume. " — Silvia Benso, author of The Face of Things: A Different Side of Ethics

"This is an extremely important book for furthering discussion about the relationship between Irigaray's early and later work. It also addresses a question central to feminist philosophy: do identity politics work?" — Danielle Poe, University of Dayton