Foreclosed matter: On the material melancholy of feminist new materialism
2016 (English)In: Australian feminist studies (Print), ISSN 0816-4649, E-ISSN 1465-3303, Vol. 31, no 89, 283-304 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this article I investigate the need to provide feminism with a theory of matter. I argue that the attention to matter given by New Materialist Karen Barad is symptomatic of a refusal to accept the limits of matter and its constituting effects. I suggest that a critical definition of matter can be found in the works of Judith Butler and especially in her definition of melancholy in relation to performativity. I argue that melancholy is central for the understanding of not only gendered desire, but also matter. Matter is an intrinsic part of Butler's theory on gender and desire which she presents in opposition to both social constructivism and biologism. I also read performativity as a concept introduced by Butler to point towards the foreclosure of matter as necessary for comprehensible bodies. I relate my reading of matter in Butler's texts to Barad's 'matter as performative'. This 'misconstruction' I see as symptomatic of a 'material melancholy' in the works of Barad. My main intention is to show how we as feminist researchers need to see that matter can be defined and analysed in many different manners and that there is not one (old nor new) way to do this.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 31, no 89, 283-304 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131676DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2016.1254023ISI: 000392662600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131676DiVA: diva2:1076161