Bad Objects

Essays Popular and Unpopular

Bad Objects

Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: Published: October 1995

Author: Naomi Schor

Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Theory and Philosophy > Psychoanalytic Theory

Bad objects are a contrarian’s delight. In this volume, leading French feminist theorist and literary critic Naomi Schor revisits some of feminist theory’s most widely discredited objects, essentialism and universalism, with surprising results. Bilingual and bicultural, she reveals the national character of contemporary theories that are usually received as beyond borders, while making a strong argument for feminist theory’s specific claims to universalism.
Written in a distinctive personal and self-reflective mode, this collection offers new unpublished work and brings together for the first time some of Schor’s best-known and most influential essays. These engagements with Anglo-American feminist theory, Freud and psychoanalytic theory, French poststructuralists such as Barthes, Foucault, and Irigaray, and French fiction by or about women—especially of the nineteenth century—also address such issues as bilingual identity, professional controversies, female fetishism, and literature and gender. Schor then concludes with a provocative meditation on the future of feminism.
As they read Bad Objects, Anglo-American theoreticians who have been mainly preoccupied with French feminism will find themselves drawn into French literary and cultural history, while French literary critics and historians will be placed in contact with feminist debate.


“Everyone intrigued with the finer points of gender studies, French studies, cultural studies, or psychoanalysis will be happy to spend some time with this passionate and reflective collection.” — Virginia Quarterly Review

"As one has come to expect from Naomi Schor, the arguments she advances are forceful, challenging and, above all, elegant. Highly individual and distinct, these essays consistently achieve their aim of reposing the essential questions of feminist theory." — Peggy Kamuf, University of Southern California

"This is an impressive volume of elegant essays that will confirm Schor’s reputation as one of feminism’s finest scholars, and one of the most expansive and precise minds in French studies." — Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley


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Naomi Schor is Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of several books including, Breaking the Chain, Reading in Detail, and George Sand and Idealism.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1693-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1681-7
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