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Elizabeth Grosz

Related: culture theory - embodied philosophy - feminism - queer theory

In recent years, Elizabeth Grosz has reinvestigated Irigaray’s theory to formulate a new phenomenological view on the body. Grosz rejects the Platonic idea that the body is a brute, or passive entity, but sees the body itself as constitutive of systems of meaning. In Volatile Bodies, she redefines the body using post-oedipal framework of the ‘Desiring Machine.’ The body becomes a desiring machine when it de-humanizes the object of desire and dissolves into surrounding environments. The subject becomes one with the machine-like apparatus and senses its merging components as changing, segmented and discontinuous waves, flows, and intensities. --Katrien Jacobs

"Deleuze is an incredibly intelligent, careful reader of exactly what he calls the wayward texts of the history of philosophy: his readings of these and other figures (Kant, Hume, Leibniz, to mention a few). Although most readers are primarily attracted to his later and collaborative works with Guattari, it was his earlier works and particularly his reading of those three philosophers that drew me to him. What he managed to do at one and the same time was to show the intent and systematicity of these various philosophies, the fact that each of them created a nugget of a system that was a machine that worked perfectly coherently, and yet each of them had something in that machine that veered off from the very tradition that it initiated. Although I was very attracted to Deleuze’s writings, it took me a very long time–over twenty years–to feel more confident with reading him: it involved sorting out the systematicity of his work from its waywardness, and thinking the wayward as the productive rather than decaying element. What Deleuze showed is that there were other philosophical methodologies than what had prevailed in the mainstream texts and emanated from Cartesianism." --Elizabeth Grosz


Elizabeth A. Grosz (born October 14, 1952) is an Australian feminist academic. She is known for feminist interpretations of the work of French philosophers Jacques Lacan and Gilles Deleuze.

She has held positions at the University of Sydney 1978-1991, then Monash University and SUNY Buffalo. She is as of 2006 Professor of women's and gender studies at Rutgers University. [1]


  1. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Theories of Representation and Difference) - Elizabeth Grosz [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Elizabeth Grosz's work is a triumph of corporeal phenomenology. The book discusses the role of the body as it pertains to gender, race and sex. The body is not just an atomic aggregate but rather a lived experience. The first part of the book, "Inside Out," explores the psychoanalytic view of the body whereas the part titled "Outside In" covers society's pressures on the body. Grosz concludes by addressing the differences between the male and female body, and how the body-politic cannot be ignored when disucssing femininsm. --sofiaphile for amazon.com

  2. Space, Time and Perversion (1994) - Elizabeth Grosz [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Exploring the fields of architecture, philosophy, and queer theory, Grosz shows how feminism and cultural analysis have conceptually stripped bodies of their specificity, their corporeality, and the vestigal traces of their production as bodies. She investigates the work of Michel Foucault, Teresa de Lauretis, Gilles Deleuze, Judith Butler and Alphonso Lingi, considering their work by examining the ways in which the functioning of bodies transforms understandings of space and time, knowledge and desire. Grosz moves toward a radical consideration of bodies and their relationship to transgression and perversity.

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