Toward a Sexual Difference Theory of Creolization


  • Max Hantel Rutgers University



In lieu of an abstract, here is the opening paragraph from the essay:

Throughout his work, Édouard Glissant rigorously describes the process of creolization in the Caribbean and beyond. His later work in particular considers creolization through the planetary terms of Relation, “exploded like a network inscribed within the sufficient totality of the world.” As his philosophical importance rightfully grows, many note the dual risk of overgeneralization and abstraction haunting continued expansion of his geographical and theoretical domain. In light of that danger, this essay examines how questions of the ontological nature of embodiment as raised by feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray ground, both implicitly and explicitly, processes of creolization. Narrowly speaking, such a reading of Glissant suggests the possibility of a richer understanding of creolization as a historically lived process and its emancipatory promise in the present. More generally, the linking of Glissant and Irigaray begins a larger project bringing together theorists of decolonization and sexual difference at the intersection of struggles against phallocentrism and racialization, perhaps nuancing some decolonial critiques of the value of Irigaray’s (and her interlocutor’s) thought. Thus, the investigation begins with a concrete question of historical interpretation that stages the embodiment of cultural contact