The essays in this groundbreaking collection stage conversations between the thought of the controversial feminist philosopher, linguist and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray and premodern writers, ranging from Empedocles and Homer, to Shakespeare, Spenser and Donne. They explore both the pre-Enlightenment roots of Luce Irigaray's thought, and the impact that her writings have had on our understanding of ancient, medieval and Renaissance culture.

Luce Irigaray has been a major figure in Anglo-American literary theory, philosophy and gender studies ever since her germinal works, Speculum of the Other Woman and This Sex Which Is Not One, were published in English translation in 1985. This collection is the first sustained examination of Irigaray's crucial relationship to premodern discourses underpinning Western culture, and of the transformative effect she has had on scholars working in pre-Enlightenment periods. Like Irigaray herself, the essays work at the intersections of gender, theory, historicism and language.

This collection offers powerful ways of understanding premodern texts through Irigaray's theories that allow us to imagine our past and present relationship to economics, science, psychoanalysis, gender, ethics and social communities in new ways.

chapter |19 pages

Future Anteriors

Luce Irigaray's Transmutation of the Past
ByElizabeth D. Harvey, Theresa Krier

chapter |18 pages

Mère Marine

Narrative and Natality in Homer and Virgil
ByTheresa Krier

chapter |15 pages

What does Matter Want?

Irigaray, Plotinus, and the Human Condition
ByJonathan Crewe

chapter |13 pages

Coming into the Word

Desdemona's Story
ByBarbara L. Estrin

chapter |22 pages

“Mutuall Elements”

Irigaray's Donne
ByElizabeth D. Harvey

chapter |17 pages

Spenser's Coastal Unconscious

ByElizabeth Jane Bellamy

chapter |21 pages

“That Glorious Slit”

Irigaray and the Medieval Devotion to Christ's Side Wound
ByAmy Hollywood

chapter |12 pages

Early Modern Blazons and the Rhetoric of Wonder

Turning Towards an Ethics of Sexual Difference
ByGrant Williams

chapter |8 pages

Gynephobia and Culture Change

An Irigarayan Just-So Story
ByHarry Berger

chapter |16 pages

The Commodities Dance

Exchange and Escape in Irigaray's “Quand nos Lèvres Se Parlent” and Catherine Des Roches's “Dialogue D'Iris Et Pasithée”
ByAnn Rosalind Jones

chapter |11 pages


ByRosi Braidotti