“Travelling Intersectionality and Translating Creolization: Feminist Aporias” (Journal of Contemporary Thought, 40, winter 2014) by Giovanna Covi focuses on Audre Lorde (1934-1992) to discuss whether theory is elitist or democratic. It considers how Lorde’s concepts may travel today within Italy, where full translations of her work started appearing only in 2014 and addresses the possibility of theory to enable oppositional critique and its potential for speaking truth to power, as well as its tendency towards the systemic academicization and aseptic professionalization of political and cultural discourse. It argues that theory’s double-bind is fruitfully engaged by Lorde’s discourse—a worldly theory inflected in AfroCaribbean-American feminist lesbian terms and shaped as a creolizing poetics—because it is a poetics of relation, an imperfect theory, and a deficient practice. It claims that these very characteristics may enable Lorde’s discourse to travel today and counter the risk of oversimplified appropriations by separate constituencies—lesbian, racial, or academic. The paper argues that Lorde’s discourse translated into Italian today may nourish fundamental empowerments and unexpected new affiliations across the aporias of US feminisms in the 1970s-80s and Italian feminisms in the new millennium. This is so, it claims, provided we embrace the full meanings of intersectionality as subjectivity and process (Kimberlé Crenshaw), of creolization as opacity and relation (Édouard Glissant) and of radical democracy as ethics of imperfection (Leela Gandhi). It concludes by suggesting that it is precisely the relational, imperfect, deficient, yet surprisingly resilient character of Italian feminisms that may potentially encounter Lorde’s non-systemic, erotic, existential theory and fruitfully adapt them to the contemporary context of Italian racism, sexism and homophobia. The hope that this encounter may empower an opposition to the paralysis of democracy trapped within a liberalism that excludes the ordinary and the unexceptional is offered by embracing Lorde’s idea of a democracy that is capable of including all “sistah outsiders.”

Travelling Intersectionality and Translating Creolization: Feminist Aporias

Covi, Giovanna
2014

Abstract

“Travelling Intersectionality and Translating Creolization: Feminist Aporias” (Journal of Contemporary Thought, 40, winter 2014) by Giovanna Covi focuses on Audre Lorde (1934-1992) to discuss whether theory is elitist or democratic. It considers how Lorde’s concepts may travel today within Italy, where full translations of her work started appearing only in 2014 and addresses the possibility of theory to enable oppositional critique and its potential for speaking truth to power, as well as its tendency towards the systemic academicization and aseptic professionalization of political and cultural discourse. It argues that theory’s double-bind is fruitfully engaged by Lorde’s discourse—a worldly theory inflected in AfroCaribbean-American feminist lesbian terms and shaped as a creolizing poetics—because it is a poetics of relation, an imperfect theory, and a deficient practice. It claims that these very characteristics may enable Lorde’s discourse to travel today and counter the risk of oversimplified appropriations by separate constituencies—lesbian, racial, or academic. The paper argues that Lorde’s discourse translated into Italian today may nourish fundamental empowerments and unexpected new affiliations across the aporias of US feminisms in the 1970s-80s and Italian feminisms in the new millennium. This is so, it claims, provided we embrace the full meanings of intersectionality as subjectivity and process (Kimberlé Crenshaw), of creolization as opacity and relation (Édouard Glissant) and of radical democracy as ethics of imperfection (Leela Gandhi). It concludes by suggesting that it is precisely the relational, imperfect, deficient, yet surprisingly resilient character of Italian feminisms that may potentially encounter Lorde’s non-systemic, erotic, existential theory and fruitfully adapt them to the contemporary context of Italian racism, sexism and homophobia. The hope that this encounter may empower an opposition to the paralysis of democracy trapped within a liberalism that excludes the ordinary and the unexceptional is offered by embracing Lorde’s idea of a democracy that is capable of including all “sistah outsiders.”
Covi, Giovanna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/116329
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