Verzet en maagdelijkheidstechnieken | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 115 Number 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

What is the feminist relevance of Foucault’s posthumously published ? This question is part of a larger debate on the usefulness of the later Foucault in conceptualizing resistance against patriarchal power relationships. This paper follows those who argue in favor of the feminist potential of his concepts of freedom and care for the self, in particular the notions of ascesis and I argue that resistance against gendered norms is explicit in his discussion of counter-conduct (1978), which he links to late-medieval mysticism and to excessive, physical experiences. Both the gender-component and the excessive corporeal experiences disappear, however, from his later concept of , which suggests that Foucault’s omission of women coincides with a displacement of the suffering body as a site of resistance. In the second part of this essay, I argue that this thesis is complicated by the recently published and its lengthy discussion of early-Christian virginity. I conclude by commenting on the historiographical limits to recuperate moments of resistance.

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