Ahmed, Sara. (1999) Differences that Matter Feminist Theory and Postmodernism
Differences That Matter challenges existing ways of theorising the relationship between feminism and postmodernism which ask `is or should feminism be modern or postmodern?' Sara Ahmed suggests that postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates and argues instead that feminism must itself ask questions of postmodernism. In other words, feminist theorists need to speak (back) to postmodernism, rather than simply speak on (their relationship to) it. This `speaking back' involves a refusal to position postmodernism as a generalisable condition of the world, and uses close readings of postmodern constructions of rights, ethics, `woman', subjectivity, authorship and ®lm. Moreover, the differences that matter are shown to concern not only the differences between feminism and postmodernism, but also the differences which de®ne the terms themselves. How to do justice to these differences while `speaking back' is a question central to the ethics of close reading offered in this book.