chapter  5
34 Pages

Feminism’s time

How do we understand the historical specificities of feminist knowledge? While feminist epistemologists often understand knowledge as socially and therefore as historically specific, many fail to follow this argument through to its logical conclusion that feminist knowledges are also historically contingent (Tanesini 1999: 16). Feminist epistemologists who consider this issue generally do so in terms of philosophy, such as Susan Hekman’s (1990) examination of whether feminism should use modern or postmodern philosophies. However, also typically, this discussion already rests on an implicit assumption of modernity. How then might we understand the historical specificity of my model of feminist discourses? Given that I develop this model from Lacan’s account of modern psychoanalytic discourse, is it a model of modern feminist discourses? My questions do not concern the relationship between feminist and modern epistemologies, but rather the relationship between modern feminist discourse and social relations.