Marilyn Strathern: Before and After Gender: Sexual Mythologies of Everyday Life (2016)

1 June 2016, dusan

“Written in the early 1970s amidst widespread debate over the causes of gender inequality, Marilyn Strathern’s Before and After Gender was intended as a widely accessible analysis of gender as a powerful cultural code and sex as a defining mythology. But when the series for which it was written unexpectedly folded, the manuscript went into storage, where it remained for more than four decades. This book finally brings it to light, giving the long-lost feminist work—accompanied here by an afterword from Judith Butler—an overdue spot in feminist history.

Strathern incisively engages some of the leading feminist thinkers of the time, including Shulamith Firestone, Simone de Beauvoir, Ann Oakley, and Kate Millett. Building with characteristic precision toward a bold conclusion in which she argues that we underestimate the materializing grammars of sex and gender at our own peril, she offers a powerful challenge to the intransigent mythologies of sex that still plague contemporary society. The result is a sweeping display of Strathern’s vivid critical thought and an important contribution to feminist studies that has gone unpublished for far too long.”

Edited and with an Introduction by Sarah Franklin
Afterword by Judith Butler
Publisher Hau Books, Chicago, 2016
Open access
ISBN 0986132535, 9780986132537
xlv+311 pages

Commentary: Sarah Green, Margaret Jolly, Annemarie Mol, Marilyn Strathern (J Ethnographic Theory book symposium, 2016).

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