Full Stop: Women Who Make a Fuss
In the novel I Love Dick, Chris Kraus writes, “Who gets to speak and why . . . is the only question.” Over the years, this quote has become somewhat talismanic for women in certain literary spheres, serving, for example, as the subhead to Emily Gould’s blog Emily Magazine. The continuing resonance of Kraus’ assertion lies in the fact that it does not just ask us to crack open all of our discursive spaces to see how they might produce certain thoughts and modes of speech, but it also makes a stand for the importance of such a project. Then, in thinking about who is speaking and why, we start to consider how they speak.
What kinds of speech are privileged and how is this connected to the question of who gets to speak and why? A new little book called Women Who Make a Fuss (WWMAF), written by Belgian philosophers Isabelle Stengers and Vinciane Despret and translated from the French by April Knutson, addresses this same question, but from a more explicitly academic perspective. They ask, “What are women doing to thought?” and connect this question to the position of women in the academy. They ask how the operation of academia in the context of economic forces might determine what kinds of ideas are produced, and how these determinations can be resisted.