"Luce Irigaray: A Biography," by Bridget Holland
[Copyright 1998 Bridget Holland.]
Luce Irigaray was born in Belguim in the 1930s. She received a Master's Degree from the University of Louvain in 1955. She taught high school in Brussells from 1956-1959. Irigaray moved to France in the early 1960s. In 1961 she received a Master's Degree in psychology from the University of Paris. In 1962 she received a Diploma in Psychopathology. From 1962-1964 she worked for the Fondation Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique in Belgium. After this she began work as a research assistant at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris where she is currently Director of Research.
In the 1960s Irigaray participated in Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic seminars. She trained as and became an analyst. In 1968 she received a Doctorate in Linguistics. From 1970-1974 she taught at the University of Vincennes. At this time Irigaray was a member of the EFP (Ecole Freudienne de Paris), a school directed by Lacan. In 1969 she analysed Antionette Fouque, a feminist leader of the time (MLF).
Irigaray's second Doctorate thesis, "Speculum of the Other Woman," was closely followed by the cessation of her employment at the University of Vincennes. This damage to her career was cruelly ironic -- the phallocentric economy she condemned for excluding women swiftly silenced her. This illustrated her main point -- the machinery of phallocentrism can't accept sexual difference and the existence of a different female subjectivity.
Irigaray was able to find an audience in feminist circles. The Women's Movement (MLF) in Paris is very factional, but since 1970 Irigaray has refused to belong to any one group. She was involved in demonstrations for contraception and abortion rights. She was invited to give seminars and speak at conferences throughout Europe. Dozens of these lectures have been published. In the second semester of 1982, Irigaray held the chair in Philosophy at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Research here resulted in the publication of An Ethics of Sexual Difference, establishing Irigaray as a major Continental philosopher.
Irigaray's work has influenced the feminist movement in France and Italy for several decades. Since the 1980s she has spoken in support of the Italian Communist Movement, touring and lecturing in Italy. Irigaray has conducted research over the last decade at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique in Paris on the difference bewteen the language of women and the language of men. This research takes place with speakers of many different languages and is discussed in her recent writings. In 1986 she transferred from the Psychology Commission to the Philosophy Commission as the latter is her preferred discipline.
Early receptions of Irigaray in the English-speaking world often mistakenly labeled her an 'essentialist.' this view is now generally considered false, as a better understanding of the complex linguistic, philosophical and psychoanalytic precepts Irigaray writes from is gained.
[Note: This information was contributed by Judith Poxon.]
I Love To You: Sketch of a Possible Felicity in History. Trans. Alison Martin. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Thinking the Difference: For a Peaceful Revolution. Trans. Karin Montin. New York: Routledge, 1994.
An Ethics of Sexual Difference. Trans. Carolyn Burke and Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1993.
Je, Tu, Nous: Toward a Culture of Difference. Trans. Alison Martin. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Sexes and Genealogies. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell Unviersity Press, 1993.
Elemental Passions. Trans. Joanne Collie and Judith Still. New York: Routledge, 1992.
The Irigaray Reader. Ed. Margaret Whitford. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell, 1991.
Marine Lover: Of Friedrich Nietzsche. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1991.
Speculum: Of the Other Woman. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1985.
This Sex Which Is Not One. Trans. Catherine Porter. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1985.
[Note: Some of this information was contributed by Alison Stone.]
"The Question of the Other." Yale French Studies 87 (1995): .
"Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche." Radical Philosophy 71 (1995): .
"Ecce Mulier?" Trans. Madeleine Dobie Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 15 (1991): 144-158.
"Equal to Whom?" Trans. Robert Mazzola. in The Essential Difference. Ed. Naomi Schor and Elizabeth Weed. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1991).
"Love Between Us," in Who Comes After the Subject? Ed. Eduardo Cadava, et.al. (New York: Routledge, 1991).
"Questions to Emmanuel Levinas on the Divinity of Love." Trans. Margaret Whitford. in Re-Reading Levinas. Ed. Robert Bernasconi and Simon Critchley. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1991).
"Sorcerer Love: A Reading of Plato's 'Symposium: Diotima's Speech'." Hypatia 5 (Winter 1989): 32-44.
"Is The Subject of Science Sexes?" Trans. Carol M. Bove. Hypatia 2 (Fall 1987): 65-87.
"The Fecundity of the Caress," in Face to Face with Levinas. Ed. Richard A. Cohen. (Albany: SUNY Press, 1986).
"Women, the Sacred, and Money." Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory 8 (Oct 1986): 6-17.
"Is the Subject of Science Sexes?" Trans. Edith Oberle. Cultural Critique (Fall 1985): 73-88.
"And the One Doesn't Stir Without the Other." Trans. Helene Vivienne Wenzel. Signs 7 (1981): 60-67.
"Women's Exile." Trans. Couze Venn. Ideology and Consciousness 1 (1977): 62-76.
"Experimental Method in Psycholinguistics," (co-authored with Jean Dubois) in Method and Theory in Linguistics. Ed. Paul L. Garvin. (The Hague: Mouton, 1970).
"Thinking Life as Reason: An Interview with Stephen Pluhacek and Heidi Bostic." Man and World 29 (1996): 343-360.
"Je -- Luce Irigaray." (interview with Elizabeth Hirsch and Gary A. Olson) Hypatia 10 (spring 1995): 93-114.
"Luce Irigaray," in French Philosophers in Conversation. Ed. Raoul Mortley. (London: Routledge, 1991).
"Luce Irigaray," in Shifting Scenes: Interviews on Women, Writing, and Politics in Post-68 France. Ed. Alice A. Jardine and Anne M. Menke. (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1991).
"Interview: Paris, Summer 1980," in Women Analyze Women in France, England and the United States. Ed. Elaine H. Baruch and Lucienne J. Serrano. (New York: New York Univ. Press, 1988), pp. 149-164.
Burke, Carolyn, Naomi Schor, and Margaret Whitford, ed. Engaging with Irigaray. Columbia University Press, 1994
Grosz, Elizabeth. Irigaray and the Divine. Local Consumption Occasional Papers (Monograph No. 9),1986.
Huntington, Patricia. Ecstatic Subjects, Utopia and Recognition: Kristeva, Heidegger, Irigaray.
Vasseleu, Cathryn. Textures of Light: Vision and Touch in Irigaray, Levinas and Merleau-Ponty. Routledge, 1998.
Whitford, Margaret. Luce Irigaray: Philosophy in the Feminine. Routledge, 1991.
[Note: This information was contributed by Bridget Holland.]
You can read a discussion of "This Sex Which Is Not One" by Brenda Harmon at this address: http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/Irigaray.html or click here.
http://www.let.ruu.nl/womens_studies/rosi/cyberfem.htm#par1 or click here.
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