Rousseau in Drag: Deconstructing Gender

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

byRosanne Terese Kennedy

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Rousseau in Drag is a provocative new interpretation of Rousseau's gender politics. Rosanne Terese Kennedy reads Rousseau's well-known but brief flirtation with cross-dressing as a starting point to dramatically reconsider the standard reading of Rousseau as a misogynist. This study argues that rather than a figure of misogyny, Rousseau challenges normative gender identites, the couple, and traditional kinship relations. Reading Rousseau's classical political and philosophical works alongside his literary texts, Kennedy offers us an alternative vision of both Rousseau's sexual politics and his politics in general.

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Rousseau in Drag is a provocative new interpretation of Rousseau's gender politics. Rosanne Terese Kennedy reads Rousseau's well-known but brief flirtation with cross-dressing as a starting point to dramatically reconsider the standard reading of Rousseau as a misogynist. This study argues that rather than a figure of misogyny, Roussea...

Rosanne Kennedy teaches Political Theory and Feminist Theory at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.38 × 5.63 × 0.69 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230340083

ISBN - 13:9780230340084

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Table of Contents

Sexual/Political Inequality * The Arts: From the Letter tod'Alembertto the Reveries of aSolitary Walker* Postoedipal Desire: Reading theMénage à Trois* Autobiography: Writing the Self, Writing Gender

 

Editorial Reviews

"Uncovering sides of Rousseau previously hidden in plain sight, Kennedy's Rousseau in Drag is one of the most exciting books I have read in a very long time. It explodes reigning conceptions of Rousseau's views on women and gender and will generate healthy debate for years to come." - Helena Rosenblatt, professor of History, The Graduate Center, CUNY"A bravura close-reading. In place of the blinkered proponent of patriarchy depicted in most of the literature on Rousseau, Kennedy brings to life a paragon of perverse desire—a paradoxical and self-contradicting author whose texts belie a deep sexual ambivalence, in passages that are sometime wildly evocative of fluid identities and intimate relations outside of the traditional nuclear family." - James Miller, professor of Political Science and Liberal Studies, New School for Social Research "Rousseau in Drag delivers an exciting new perspective on the gender dynamics across Rousseau's oeuvre. Probing the Confessions, Julie, Émile, and shorter essays, Kennedy's reading both complements and disrupts earlier feminist work on Rousseau by taking seriously his 'perverse' desires. Without reducing Rousseau's writings to his biography or psycho-biography, Kennedy interprets Rousseau's own sexual and performative proclivities as constituting a move beyond the gender binaries that he otherwise seems to reproduce at various points within his texts." - Lori Marso, author of (Un)Manly Citizens and Feminist Thinkers and the Demands of Femininity