Poetry is the Space of the Fold: Feminist Poetics after écriture feminine

  • Nisha Ramayya (Speaker)

Activity: OtherPublic engagement, outreach and knowledge exchange - Public Lecture/debate/seminar


ULU Women Studies is a new diverse series of free lectures, talks and seminars on women, gender and feminist studies, hosted on different campuses across London.

‘I shall speak about women's writing: about what it will do. Woman must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies’ – Helene Cixous’ essay ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) launched the term écriture feminine, or women’s writing, into feminist discourse. 40 years later, many of the pleasures and difficulties facing women writers remain. Is écriture feminine relevant to the contemporary women writer? How have her strategies changed?

This lecture will discuss some objectives of écriture feminine, and how they have been refigured by recent feminist poetry and criticism. Can experimental poetics – as expounded by American women writers Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Joan Retallack, and Lyn Hejinian – be thought of as a continuation and expansion of écriture feminine? Or do these writers distance themselves from that concept, opening new directions for feminist poetics?

A seminar will follow the lecture, to offer space for questions, ideas, and close readings. Participants are invited to bring their own creative work during the seminar – it would be great to contextualise the discussion with examples of écriture feminine and feminist poetics. Please bring copies to share.
Period25 Mar 2014
Event titleULU Women's Studies
Event typeSeminar
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map


  • feminism
  • experimental poetics
  • poetics
  • women writers
  • French feminism