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Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 9780333994573
Publication Date March 2004
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Transitions

Why has Western thought been so persistent in its organisation of human bodies, and other categories, in terms of the binary opposition male and female? Is gender nothing more than an ideology, or does it have its basis in sexual difference?

This invaluable introductory guide offers a clear overview of the concept, and problem, of gender. Claire Colebrook places the term in its historical contexts and traces its development from the Enlightenment to the present, before moving on to the evolution of the concept of gender from within the various stances of feminist criticism, and exploring recent developments in queer theory and post-feminism. Close analysis of key literary texts, including Frankenstein, Paradise Lost and A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows how specific styles of literature enable reflection on gender.

CLAIRE COLEBROOK teaches English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of a number of articles on feminist theory, and her recent books include Ethics and Representation (1999) and Understanding Deleuze (2002).

General Editor's Preface
Acknowledgements
Gender Before Modernity
Gender as Form and the Masculinity of Reason
Modernity and the Materiality of Gender
Sex without Gender
Beyond Sex and Gender
Sexual Difference and Embodiment
Sexuality and Queer Theory
Conclusion: Reading Gender: Frankenstein
Bibliography
Index

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Reviews

'Claire Colebrook's book, Gender, achieves the monumental task of pursuing a genealogy of gender from ancient times through three waves of feminist debate. Colebrook manages not only to cover a vast range of knowledge in succinct and lucid detail, but to do so with an eye to drawing out themes that shed new light on the terms of contemporary discussions...A historically informed and conceptually clarifying background for anyone interested in following or contributing to contemporary debates on gender and sexual difference.' - Tamsin Lorraine, Philosophy Department, Swarthmore College
'Claire Colebrook's Gender should be on the reading list for all courses in women's studies, literary criticism and contemporary theory. Its uniquely even-handed approach to once-inflammatory issues of gender and women's sexuality presents these movements as thoroughly comprehended and ready to yield to fresh thinking. Beautifully argued in Colebrook's crystalline and informed expository prose, this exhaustive work ... provide[s] succinct and cogent readings of the major movements and philosophico-historic contexts of gender thinking, from Plato to Gatens, with passes through such opponents as Marx and Foucault, first wave, second and third wave feminism, and Kristeva and Deleuze.' - Juliet Flower MacCannell, Professor Emerita, Comparative Literature, University of California
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