[SYMPOSIUM] BOOK CLUB
#03 Owens: The Discourse of Others
Continuing with the themes of feminism and the other from last month, we are reading Craig Owens’ The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism (1983).
DOWNLOAD: Owens, Craig (1983). The Discourse of Others: Feminists and Postmodernism. In The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Seattle: Bay Press, pp. 57-82.
In this essay, Craig Owens explores the intersection of the feminist critique of patriarchy and the postmodern critique of representation for a way to understand difference without antagonism. His starting point is a definition postmodernism as a crisis of the cultural hegemony of the west. For Owens, postmodern cultural production is characterised by pluralism and indifference, with consequences for our sense of cultural identity. He questions the absence of discussions of sexual difference in postmodern texts alongside corresponding feminist and artistic critiques of representation.
Suggested further reading
Buchloh, Benjamin HD (1982). Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art. Artforum 21, no. 1 (September 1982), pp. 43–56.
Derrida, Jacques (1982). Sending: On Representation. Social Research Vol. 49, No. 2, Current French Philosophy (Summer 1982), pp. 294-326.
Crimp, Douglas (1982). Appropriating Appropriation. In Image Scavengers: Photography, Paula Marincola ed. Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, pp. 27-34.
Foster, Hal (1986). Subversive Signs. In Recodings: Art, Spectacle, Cultural Politics. Seattle: Bay Press, pp. 99-118.
Mulvey, Laura (1999/1975). Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen eds. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 833-844.
Owens, Craig (1992/1980). Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism. In Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture. Berkeley & Oxford: University of California Press, pp. 52-69. October 12 (Spring 1980), pp. 67-86.
Rosler, Martha (1981). In, Around, and Afterthoughts (On documentary photography). In Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Essays 1975-2001. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 151-206.