chapter  6
20 Pages

A (Re)Turn to Love: An Epistemic Conversation between Lorde’s “Uses of the Erotic” and Jónasdóttir’s “Love Power”

ByVIOLET EUDINE BARRITEAU

In 1978, black, lesbian, feminist philosopher Audre Lorde crystallized two decades of work to off er feminist scholarship the theorization of the erotic as power, “as the nurturer or nursemaid of all our deepest knowledge.” (Lorde 1984: 56) Lorde links love to epistemology and ontology, and centers erotic power and its uses as an underutilized life force available to women. She pioneered, “a radical notion of positionality and generated a rigorous analysis of complex, interconnected power relations (around race, class, gender, and heteronormativity)” (Klesse 2010). Lorde focuses on women’s sexual agency inherent, but often unacknowledged, in intimate sexual relations.