Emotional Orientations: Simone de Beauvoir and Sara Ahmed on Subjectivity and the Emotional Phenomenology of Gender

Emotional Orientations: Simone de Beauvoir and Sara Ahmed on Subjectivity and the Emotional... John McMahon Introduction What is feminist emotionality? What emotions circulate in the emergence of subjects, Selves, and Others? How do concepts of emotion and orientation explain the formation of gendered subjects? Can emotions move us to freer and more reciprocal orientations to difference? To explore these queries, this essay (re-)reads Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (hereafter SS) alongside Sara Ahmed's theorization of emotion and phenomenological orientation in The Cultural Politics of Emotion (CPOE) and Queer Phenomenology (QP). I provide a reading of the theoretical work that emotions do in Beauvoir's canonical text in order to think through the emotional valences of the questions she poses for philosophy, gender, and sociopolitical transformation as well as to initiate a connection between the feminist philosophy canon and contemporary theorizing on affect and emotion. This reading practice enables us to explore how one node of contemporary work on emotion can generate productive reimaginings of feminist philosophy lineages. It also permits us to think through the ways the feminist canon can inform our contemporary accounts of emotion. My central contention is that attending to embodied emotion in Beauvoir's work enables us to trace her construction of a rich theory of subjectivity--and 215 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png philoSOPHIA State University of New York Press

Emotional Orientations: Simone de Beauvoir and Sara Ahmed on Subjectivity and the Emotional Phenomenology of Gender

philoSOPHIA, Volume 6 (2) – Dec 21, 2016

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State University of New York Press
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Copyright © State University of New York Press
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2155-0905
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Abstract

John McMahon Introduction What is feminist emotionality? What emotions circulate in the emergence of subjects, Selves, and Others? How do concepts of emotion and orientation explain the formation of gendered subjects? Can emotions move us to freer and more reciprocal orientations to difference? To explore these queries, this essay (re-)reads Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex (hereafter SS) alongside Sara Ahmed's theorization of emotion and phenomenological orientation in The Cultural Politics of Emotion (CPOE) and Queer Phenomenology (QP). I provide a reading of the theoretical work that emotions do in Beauvoir's canonical text in order to think through the emotional valences of the questions she poses for philosophy, gender, and sociopolitical transformation as well as to initiate a connection between the feminist philosophy canon and contemporary theorizing on affect and emotion. This reading practice enables us to explore how one node of contemporary work on emotion can generate productive reimaginings of feminist philosophy lineages. It also permits us to think through the ways the feminist canon can inform our contemporary accounts of emotion. My central contention is that attending to embodied emotion in Beauvoir's work enables us to trace her construction of a rich theory of subjectivity--and 215

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philoSOPHIAState University of New York Press

Published: Dec 21, 2016

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