Round Table Abstract – Resisting the epistemological models of the state

There already is feminist text analysis so far as we acknowledge it as an open space for practices and interpretations that necessarily adapt and transform. We will face the same difficulty imagining a singular or static feminist text analysis as we would applying those characteristics to feminist theory itself.

The question of whether there can or cannot be feminist text analysis may be flawed. Its problem, as I see it, is attention toward an elusive end. What if finality is incompatible with the process? Should that really come as a surprise? Feminist text analysis, like feminism, is not a static program but a process.

Perhaps the question should be, ‘how can your text analysis be feminist?’ If so, the answer will have something to do with a heterogeneity of techniques being circumstantially constructed. Some of these will serve to preserve practical gains and others will work to create theoretical tensions, because feminist theory is a fluid and situational thing.

I wish to warn the panel that the workings of dominant social institutions too often become analogies used to measure and disregard activities that stem from fundamentally different politics. If we accept the restriction of having to name some definitive feminist text analysis that can or cannot be, we are in danger of mistakenly allowing the epistemological models of the state and the patriarchy into an analysis of alternative tactics.