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Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism
Author: Trinh T. Minh-ha
Publisher: Published April 27th 2009 by Indiana University Press (first published 1989)
ISBN: 9780253205032
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

577490.Woman_Native_Other.pdf

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"...methodologically innovative... precise and perceptive and conscious..." -Text and Performance Quarterly "Woman, Native, Other is located at the juncture of a number of different fields and disciplines, and it genuinely succeeds in pushing the boundaries of these disciplines further. It is one of the very few theoretical attempts to grapple with the writings of women of "...methodologically innovative... precise and perceptive and conscious..." -Text and Performance Quarterly "Woman, Native, Other is located at the juncture of a number of different fields and disciplines, and it genuinely succeeds in pushing the boundaries of these disciplines further. It is one of the very few theoretical attempts to grapple with the writings of women of color." -Chandra Talpade Mohanty "The idea of Trinh T. Minh-ha is as powerful as her films... formidable..." -Village Voice "... its very forms invite the reader to participate in the effort to understand how language structures lived possibilities." -Artpaper "Highly recommended for anyone struggling to understand voices and experiences of those we label other." -Religious Studies Review

30 review for Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    Had to read the first chapter for one of my classes: when it was time to discuss it in said class only one snide comment of "how am I supposed to get her point if I can't understand her writing" was needed to awaken a crowd of angry classmates with knives drawn, hungry for blood. I was taken completely aback—out of all possible critiques this is one I quite frankly hadn't expected, this is grad school, for heaven's sake!—and finally, admittedly feebly, offered up the remark that within the conte Had to read the first chapter for one of my classes: when it was time to discuss it in said class only one snide comment of "how am I supposed to get her point if I can't understand her writing" was needed to awaken a crowd of angry classmates with knives drawn, hungry for blood. I was taken completely aback—out of all possible critiques this is one I quite frankly hadn't expected, this is grad school, for heaven's sake!—and finally, admittedly feebly, offered up the remark that within the context Trinh is writing, her elliptical style makes perfect sense and is, in fact, perfectly clear (unfortunately, I doubt I was so clear when I actually made the remark—I think that may have been the first time I spoke in that class). "But it is particularly difficult for a dualistic or dualistically trained mind to recognize that 'looking for the structure of narratives' already involves the separation of the structure from narratives, of the structure from which it is structured, of the narrative from the narrated, and so on." It was a this point that I realized how deep my background in Second Wave feminist writing really is. The style of Native Woman Other immediately reminded me of the writings of Hélène Cixous, whose The Newly Born Woman is one of those revelational texts that kind of changed everything after; as I had remarked to a friend before that class, the section we read is basically a "who's-who" of feminist-minded writers and thinkers up to that time (including many personal favorites): not only the heavily-cited Cixous, but Woolf, Duras, de Beauvoir, Kristeva, Atwood, Plath, Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Nin, and countless others (the ones I don't know I figure I need to now). The first chapter struck me as an attempt to encapsulate major Second Wave feminist thought, all the while adding in the issue of race with that of gender, making it a point of precedent for the Third Wave of feminism that would quickly follow. One way or the other, I was definitely on board, and it was a fair bit of reactionary spite that galvanized my vague desire to finish the rest of the book. Now finished, I realize there wasn't much said that was particularly new to me—I've recently happened to do some reading that revolve around similar themes—but this is by far the most beautifully rendered and expressed of all of them. It's an eloquent attempt to carve into feminist and anthropological discourse the perspective of the other "Other," that is, the voices of women of color. Particularly illuminating is the final chapter that analyzes the essential role the woman-as-storyteller has played and continues to play in many cultures. "Her words are like fire. They burn and destroy. It is, however, only by burning that they lighten. Destroying and saving, therefore, are here one single process. Not two processes posed in opposition or in conflict. They would like to order everything around hierarchical oppositions."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Beautifully written. It took me a little while to get the hang of her writing style, but once I did, I truly appreciated her creative and unique prose.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kajsa Byne

    I have no words.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ayanna Dozier

    Trinh T. Minh-ha's writing is an embodied practice that is to say Min-ha writes from her specific standpoint position in society. Minh-ha argues that feminism needs to make room for cultural, racial, national, and gender differences. She, like many "intersectional" feminists, believes that carrying the "sign" of woman should not be used as a universal "sameness." Minh-ha contends that differences amongst individuals who identify feminists must make room to speak out against hegemonic power relat Trinh T. Minh-ha's writing is an embodied practice that is to say Min-ha writes from her specific standpoint position in society. Minh-ha argues that feminism needs to make room for cultural, racial, national, and gender differences. She, like many "intersectional" feminists, believes that carrying the "sign" of woman should not be used as a universal "sameness." Minh-ha contends that differences amongst individuals who identify feminists must make room to speak out against hegemonic power relations that are mimicked under the guise of feminism. More simply put, Minh-ha is specifically arguing against white feminists whose aims are to gain the power to "be equal to men." Minh-ha asserts that this logic/aim only re-iterates white colonialist structures that seek to marginalize individuals over racial, sexual, and other gender differences. For Minh-ha, feminism is against oppression and should be a liberating force for all and not some. Additionally, Minh-ha argues that we should not be afraid to speak out against white feminists who re-appropriate the dialogue, performative tacts and speech acts of the colonizer in the name of feminism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Naz Anais

    The way in which Minh-ha composes is now a demonstration of Derridean deconstruction in which she obscures the limits between so-called scholarly and abstract written work styles. She utilizes graceful dialect to pass on the free play of significance without sticking to the strict account structures of formal study. Woman, Native, Other is situated at the point of various distinctive fields and disciplines, and it really succeeds in pushing the limits of these disciplines further. It is one of t The way in which Minh-ha composes is now a demonstration of Derridean deconstruction in which she obscures the limits between so-called scholarly and abstract written work styles. She utilizes graceful dialect to pass on the free play of significance without sticking to the strict account structures of formal study. Woman, Native, Other is situated at the point of various distinctive fields and disciplines, and it really succeeds in pushing the limits of these disciplines further. It is one of the not very many theoretical endeavors to think about the compositions of women of colour. I would recommend it to anyone attempting to comprehend voices and encounters of those "we" call 'other'.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susie

    What. A. Book. Necessary reading for all, especially those looking to understand intersectionality to a greater extent. Although the style of writing is a bit difficult to get used to (quotes and I/i etc are frequent), perseverance leads to experiencing a really wonderful and interesting book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Moll

    This is one of the most important books I've ever read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cori Ready

    i'm a legit Trinh T. Minh-ha fanatic. Loved this work and love her films.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    Another reviewer posted the following as a negative review: "no words". I feel the same, but change it to a non-negative; this text is in the realm of my own not understanding, but there is strength in the words that I am not sure I understand. Is this poetry, a novel, literary criticism...maybe it is all of that, as a story, an important one.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erdem Tasdelen

    This is quite a scattered text, and although it revolves around the same ideas it is structurally disjointed. Its wit and at times attacking qualities make it a solid performative work, but its content is lacking in a way that I can not pinpoint. One is face to face with a constructed binarism (thinking Sedgwick here) where the "other" is made into an "another" by "difference". Minh-ha criticises the "white male anthropologist", in that he wants to gain knowledge about "the other" which he makes This is quite a scattered text, and although it revolves around the same ideas it is structurally disjointed. Its wit and at times attacking qualities make it a solid performative work, but its content is lacking in a way that I can not pinpoint. One is face to face with a constructed binarism (thinking Sedgwick here) where the "other" is made into an "another" by "difference". Minh-ha criticises the "white male anthropologist", in that he wants to gain knowledge about "the other" which he makes into an "other" for the practical aim of finding a hidden truth for his own being, his "roots". "The Nature of the non-Western World", "The Savage Mind", "How Natives Think"... He has a mastery of his "subjects" and claims to maintain scientific objectivity, but he is acting out with the deeply rooted "burden" of being a "white man". The third world subject is now encouraged to assert his/her difference and customs as long as (s)he stays within his/her assigned limits. They want to find the "true native", the "real" and "unspoiled" subject. "A Japanese actually looks more Japanese in American than in Japan, but the 'real' type of Japanism ought to be in Japan" (84). Other things discussed in this book: - a third world woman writer, criticisms either ignore the facts or overemphasize her racial and sexual attributes; she's forced to think of herself in terms of differentiation (Spivak: "You can't not speak from a place.") - writing for the third world writer becomes a means for educating the less fortunate; trying to overcome the "guilt" of being privileged. art for the masses, art by the masses, art from the masses. - sexism in language - truth/fact vs. story telling/oral history A question that comes to mind while reading this book: If the writerly qualities are perceived as male and a good female writer was complimented on how she "wrote like a man", then how is it that discourse around creativity centralises it as a feminine quality (the stereotyping of queer identity as creative)?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Rice

    This book is very dense but once you get to the third chapter of the book you get a better sense of what it is she is trying to convey.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Ouyang

    Minh-Ha's writing style can at first take some getting used to. At first, her writing felt a little like waxing poetic, but the book reveals itself to be very substantive in no time at all. I haven't read that much theory, so I didn't know what to expect when I first started it. The post-colonial angle caught my eye, especially as an Asian American girl. I wasn't disappointed-- a very insightful read that covered a broader range of topics than I thought it would. The book is divided into four secti Minh-Ha's writing style can at first take some getting used to. At first, her writing felt a little like waxing poetic, but the book reveals itself to be very substantive in no time at all. I haven't read that much theory, so I didn't know what to expect when I first started it. The post-colonial angle caught my eye, especially as an Asian American girl. I wasn't disappointed-- a very insightful read that covered a broader range of topics than I thought it would. The book is divided into four sections that jump from the WOC's creative process, to criticisms of western anthropology, to gender/sex politics for WOC, to storytelling. Minh-Ha's overarching message was pretty clear, but the transitions to each respective topic were abrupt. Gonna be real here, the second chapter on anthropology bored me immensely, and felt like a weird interruption between the first and third chapters. Maybe it would be more enlightening to someone who disagrees with or hasn't considered the criticisms of white/western anthropology. Overall, it was really cool and exciting to read about the experiences of other women of color, specifically Asian women, and be able to relate (a disappointingly rare topic to come across) I learned a little bit, thought a lot, and even though it didn't change me as a person, I'm glad I picked this book up. B-)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Navreet Dhaliwal

    I loved this book. Minh-ha has a wonderfully engaging writing style that both makes the reader feel as though they're part of a discussion and challenges them to answer questions she brings forth. This book is particularly helpful for anyone who has a strong interest in post-colonialism and would like an entry point into writing within that framework. Minh-ha presents a well researched narrative that is illuminating in how contemporary it is, but also humbling and appreciative of her predecessor I loved this book. Minh-ha has a wonderfully engaging writing style that both makes the reader feel as though they're part of a discussion and challenges them to answer questions she brings forth. This book is particularly helpful for anyone who has a strong interest in post-colonialism and would like an entry point into writing within that framework. Minh-ha presents a well researched narrative that is illuminating in how contemporary it is, but also humbling and appreciative of her predecessors' work(s).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    Re-read this book after years since my first read in college and loved it more than ever. I purposefully took it slow, enjoying Minh-ha's every poetic word and circling around the critical concepts with a more mature mind. And while some of the ideas could use some updating, it's a theoretical text I could read again and again.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    Difficult to read if you are expecting a classic second wave feminist text, but that is precisely the point. Cyclically written, with a loopy (literally) logic to it, a great step into the brave new world of Post-Colonial Feminism for the uninitiated. Also a perfectly lovely read for those of us who are already there.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Le

    i have been browsing and skimming this book since 2006! haha

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sara Salem

    Very powerful book. The best critique of anthropology I have read so far.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Review published in Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature 17.1 (1993): 157-160.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Minh-Ha

    See especially "Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box" and "Grandma's Story".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Difficult read, but once you understand the style you realize what a lovely, sarcastic, angry, rational, and beautiful book it is.

  21. 5 out of 5

    rachel

    "difference" always makes me feel like i am swimming.

  22. 5 out of 5

    sara

    read for feminist theory class...a great balance to all the other european/french theory u have to read

  23. 4 out of 5

    spoon

  24. 5 out of 5

    Judith Newton

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maud Schaafsma

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  29. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Toni King

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