Thinking two worlds into one : the "distribution of the sensible" and women's renegotiation

Jooste, Yvonne (2013-01)

CITATION: Jooste, Y. 2013. Thinking two worlds into one : the "distribution of the sensible" and women's renegotiation. Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif 24(3): 528-537.

The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/ju_slr

Article

In this note, the author reflects on the subjectivity of women through the lens of Jacques Rancière's formulation of the "distribution of the sensible". The author discusses the French revolutionary woman, Olympe de Gouges, a reading of the character of Lucy in JM Coetzee's Disgrace as well as the character of Philida in Andre P Brink's work Philida. These characters and events are analysed as a way of calling for the interrogation of orders of sensibility, intelligibility and communicability. It is suggested that a Rancièrian reading of characters and events discloses paradoxical, precarious subjectivities that renegotiate material and sensible contexts. The concern of the piece lies with the capacity and subjectivity to break with established roles and identifications and by assuming equality in order to recast conservative symbolic orders thereby opening up the possibility of alternative spaces, capacities and ways of being. The author suggests refocusing from political ends and results to moments within which the sensible is redistributed.

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