Feminist History after the Linguistic Turn: Historicizing Discourse and Experience

TitleFeminist History after the Linguistic Turn: Historicizing Discourse and Experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsCanning, Kathleen
JournalSigns: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
Pagination368 - 404

The starting point of this article is the ongoing and uneasy encounter between feminism and poststructuralist theory across the disciplines. It explore the implications of what has come to be termed the linguistic turn for the history of women and gender and analyze the controversies among feminists about its far-ranging consequences for historical research and writing. However fruitful the fracturing of disciplinary boundaries has been, it has also opened up difficult questions regarding the meanings and methods and historical practice in the wake of the linguistic turn. For this reason, the author argues,  it is imperative to grapple with the poststructuralist challenge not only across the disciplines but also specifically on the terrain of history by reexamining the historical narratives, concepts, chronologies, and boundaries that have been displaced in the context of our own historical research and writing. In this article, therefore, she rethinks the contested terms discourse, experience, and agency through a study of gender and the politics of work in the German textile industry during late Imperial and Weimar Germany.

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