Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged critical theory

Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics

Showcasing twelve articles by noted linguist Sally McConnell-Ginet, Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning weaves together some of her most provocative and influential work on language, gender, and sexual meaning-making from the last three decades. In her many fruitful collaborations with colleagues, students, and friends, McConnell-Ginet argues that language is not a passive craft, but rather, an active process of meaning-making that has its roots in the social identities, contexts, and statuses of the speakers and listeners.

So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance

Traversing critical theory, body studies, psychoanalysis, philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, and performance studies, Patrick Anderson’s So Much Wasted captures the “politics of morbidity” embedded in the act of self-starvation.

The Cinematic Life of the Gene

The Cinematic Life of the Gene is a challenging and complex collection of essays that uses cinematic representations of genetics and cloning to consider the cultural impact of genetic breakthroughs. Jackie Stacey draws on some of the most well known theoretical works regarding cinema, art, and the body to consider the fascinating link between cinema and genomics.

Can the Subaltern Speak?: Reflections on the History of an Idea

I was first introduced to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s famous 1988 essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” during a graduate seminar that focused on postcolonial and feminist literature. While I read many works by various important and transformative authors during that semester, Spivak’s discussion of the subaltern stood out to me as being more important and more transformative than the others.

Stance: Ideas about Emotion, Style, and Meaning for the Study of Expressive Culture

My critical theory class from university seemed far away when I started reading Harris M. Berger’s study, Stance. In that course, Reception Theory was probably the most difficult one to grasp, with the most theoretically abstract readings, readings for the most part founded in philosophy. Realistically, the world does not know enough about the brain or perception, and cultural context varies considerably from person to person.

Encarnación: Illness and Body Politics in Chicana Feminist Literature

The pockmarks on the Aztec figure on the cover of Suzanne Bost’s Encarnación: Illness and Body Politics in Chicana Feminist Literature are a reminder of the proximity of disease, illness, and pain to death.

Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs

Pleasure Consuming Medicine is the deliciously (and ambiguously) titled new work by the Senior Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Kane Race. His difficult but rewarding text joins a number of new works about the pleasures (not just punishments) of drug use.


In Bodies, Susie Orbach, best known for her continuous thread of psychoanalytic discussion of the body particularly as rooted in eating disorders and feminism, offers up a broader discussion of bodies in our time.