Roundtable abstract: Music and Noise

The moment you define the parameters for a feminist text analysis, they will be outdated. Feminist changes. Text changes. And analysis changes. Identities are not stable; rather they are constantly being iterated and changed by the factors around and outside them. An analysis that seeks to make sense of patterns will capture truth in one snapshot and falsity in another. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. 

I have been thinking through Ralph Ellison’s line: “it was either to live with music or die with noise.” Text analysis aims to pull music from noise; feminist text analysis realizes that whether or not one “finds music” depends on the voice of the musician and the ears of the listener. And that a definition of music will never bring as much fodder for mind and spirit as will an experience of music

There need not be a definitive arrival point to signify Feminist Text Analysis. In fact, such a point would bely the iterative nature of feminism, text, and analysis. But projects that acknowledge and thoughtfully codify instability, multiplicity, and other feminist ideals bring us closer to feminist text analysis.