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Sex, Gender, and the Body


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Introduction 1: What Is a Woman? Sex, Gender, and the Body in Feminist Theory 2: 'I Am a Woman': The Personal and the Philosophical

About the Author

Toril Moi is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University, author of the influential and best-selling Sexual/Textual Politics and What Is a Woman?, and editor of The Kristeva Reader and French Feminist Thought.


In these two essays Moi goes beyond her previous writings and shows the reader in great detail how Beauvoir can help us get past the stagnation that has come to characterize feminist theory. They provide, in vivid and compelling detail, a "third way" for feminism. Nancy Bauer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University Each of the two chapters offers a very well-constructed argument that clarifies an important issue in contemporary feminism. Toril Moi has a very high public profile, and the quality of these essays shows her reputation is based on substance. Emily R. Grosholz, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University These two essays have the stature of classics, as theoretical contributions to feminist theory and women's studies more generally. The brilliance of these essays, and why they remain so inspirational, is that they offer not only a critique of the philosophical situation of women, but also offer a philosophical path forward out of that situation. Carla A. Hesse, Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley These essays have been very important in shaping my own thinking on a wide variety of subjects. Most importantly, they establish Simone de Beauvoir as a voice who engages the central questions of gender, culture, and society with which we wrestle today. Linda K. Kerber, May Brodbeck Professor in the Liberal Arts and Professor of History, University of Iowa These essays remain very timely and original interventions in two major problem areas of feminist theory, first the "sex/gender" debate and second the place of the "personal" in philosophical and theoretical thinking. Moi's work is important in its own right and her voice and theoretical positions entirely original; at the same time, because her writing is so rigorous and lucidly analytical, these interventions are immensely useful for students trying to find their way through feminist theory. Diana Knight, Professor of French, University of Nottingham Moi's two essays constitute major, original interventions into key debates in feminist theory. They are also accessibly and clearly written. Sonia Kruks, Robert S. Danforth Professor of Politics, Oberlin College Toril Moi's work is of central importance to the history of feminist theory and feminist literary criticism, and her thoughtful engagement with Simone de Beauvoir has been cited by scholars as the most important work on that founding feminist author to date. Robyn Wiegman, Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women's Studies, Duke University

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