chapter  9
20 Pages

Eclipsing the Constitutive Power of Discourse: The Writing of Janette Turner Hospital

ByBronwyn Davies

Postmodernity brings with it a multiplicity of competing discourses. That multiplicity affords human subjects the possibility of undermining the (previously unquestioned or unquestionable) power of those discourses that have had a monopoly on consciousness. Inevitably, that possibility also brings with it increased surveillance as populations appear to become less governable, less eager to take up dominant discourses as their own. Poststructuralist theory analyses the dynamics of postmodernity, and the possibilities (and restrictions) it affords, in terms of the relations among discourse, subjection, and desire. Feminist poststructuralist theorizing, in particular, has focused on the possibilities opened up when dominant language practices are made visible and revisable.