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Proposal for Gendered Silence paper

Shirah Kraus's picture

I want to delve into Eva's Man, using the lens of Kimberle Crenshaw's "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color" ( and perhaps some other texts from the Feminist Theory curriculum (maybe Lugones?). I want to examine the political implications of the novel and the intersections between gender, race, and other identities. How does silence play into identity politics? What are the connections between race, gender and silence? Between violence (physical, emotional, systemic) and silence? It was interesting to discuss in class today why Eva was silent. I hope to complicate and play with this question by working with Jones and Crenshaw and Adrienne Rich (who in some ways connects politics to silence) to examine the politics of identities and silences. I wonder how Eva's Man impacts and complicates our understanding of our world. Rather than read as an escape (referring to Jody's class today), I wonder how reading Eva's Man might lead to some suggestions for action. Perhaps I will come to some ideas for action through the process of writing this paper. Or perhaps, as is usually the case in this 360, I will further complicate everything and pose more questions than answers. 


Anne Dalke's picture

I'm very much liking your decision to focus on political silence as a topic for analyzing Eva's Man, and like esp. how that focus will enlarge the very personal angle we were taking with the text in class yesterday (it also strikes me as more hopeful, larger than our present angle of vision). You might look back, too, @ Stanley's NYTimes piece, which is aiming specifically at political silence, and I do think that Rich will be of help to you here, since her claim is that we must speak our personal truths, in order to bring about political change. She acknowledges that there may be a personal cost, but think that that's the cost of social change. I'm eager, too, to see how some of the other material from your feminist theory curriculum might be of help here.