Women's Bodies, Women's Stories: Use of the Narrative in Feminist Theory

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The autobiographical narrative is often incorporated into contemporary feminist theory. These accounts are used as justifying bases for claims about the legitimacy of certain theoretical standpoints. Focusing specifically on theories of the body, this paper analyzes how women’s narratives are utilized to augment feminist theorizing. In theoretical discourse, the narrative provides a phenomenological ground from which value is extrapolated. This paper examines the strategies employed by thinkers to link particular narrative accounts to value claims in their systems of thought. Use of the narrative filters theories of the body through certain socio-cultural and political lenses. Via Foucauldian analysis, this paper characterizes the implicit forces situated within the narrative account, thus revealing certain discourses which influence feminist theories of the body. The aim of this paper is to explore the ways in which autobiographical narrative accounts and theoretical conceptions of the body inform, enhance, and supply one another.


Keywords: Feminism, Feminist Theory, Philosophy, Narrative, Women, Theory of the Body, Identity Politics
Stream: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Gender
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Bethany Perryman

Research Student, Philosophy
Political Science, Baylor University

Waco, TX, USA

I am an interdisciplinary research student at Baylor University with foci in philosophy, political science, and gender studies. I have not yet decided which of the aforementioned fields I plan to enter for doctoral work.

Ezra Cook

Research Student, Philosophy, Baylor University
Waco, TX, USA

I am a research student in Philosophy at Baylor University. I am interested in the thought of Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Dewey, Rorty, and Foucault. I am interested in attending this conference in order to interact with specialists in different disciplines and to clarify my own interests and research aims.

Ref: I08P0369