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Hetærography or inventions of radical alterity : subtitle reading two Latin American women’s poetry Chatzivasileiou, Evangelia

Abstract

This primarily theoretical study is situated within the field of Latin American Studies, since it examines poetry written in Spanish by two contemporary Latin American women. The approach develops concepts introduced by Derrida and Levinas to discuss their poems in relation to feminist debates about identity and difference/alterity. Many feminists believe that the struggle for the emancipation of women must orient itself toward a politics that affirms their sexual identity as women or as lesbians. Others argue that such affirmations are problematic, because they are posited within a masculinist, heteronormative context and necessarily adopt the stereotypes and biases implicit in such a frame. This dissertation supports the point of view of radical feminists, for whom maintaining a radical heterogeneity and difference in relation to this normative binary framework is the only way to avoid (re-) assimilation into phallocratic structures. The first chapter provides a theoretical framework based on Derridean deconstruction and notions of alterity and difference that enable the philosophical construction of a radical heterogeneity called here hetdsrography. This invented concept gives rise to other inventions of difference and multiple alterities, creating an alternative to essentialist concepts of identity and otherness. The second chapter examines the Argentinian poet Diana Bellessi's Eroica and proposes a reading based on the radical heterogeneity of "woman." Drawing on the political reality of los desaparecidos in Argentina, the unidentified woman is construed as "disappearance." The third chapter applies a similar approach to a reading of the Chilean poet Soledad Farina's Albricia, developing the concept of impasse. The discussion focuses on the deconstruction of Farina's homogeneous or essentialist category of lesbianism and proposes an-other, more radical hyperlesbianism that is indeterminate and exceeds essentialist definitions. Hyperfeminism/lesbianism link women's and lesbians' emancipation to wider issues of democracy, justice and ethics, as discussed in the fourth and final chapter.

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