Writing as Speaking

  • Briony Lipton
  • Elizabeth Mackinlay
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


In this chapter we explore the methodological underpinnings of this book and ask how do we do feminist research which works towards the gender just society we hope for? Here we ground our work in the writings of Hélène Cixous and Sara Ahmed, two different women writing at different times in different places but arguably searching for ways to work within/against the in-between-ness of women’s experiences. Drawing on Cixous’ écriture féminine as a ‘willful’ methodological approach (after Ahmed, Willful subjects. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014) allows us to reconsider what constitutes knowledge, research practice and ultimately power that opens up a space for the reception of feminist academic voices. It makes room for us to consider writing as speaking ‘other than patriarchy’, that it is to speak and write like feminists.


Academic Writing Feminist Research Female Academic Masculine Norm Cartesian Dualism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adkins, L., & Lury, C. (Eds.) (2012). Measure and value. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed, S. (2010). Forward. In R. Ryan-Flood & R. Gill (Eds.), Secrecy and silence in the research process: Feminist reflections. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Ahmed, S. (2014). Willful subjects. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ball, S. (2015). Living the neoliberal university. European Journal of Education, 50(3), 258–261.Google Scholar
  5. Banting, P. (1992). The body as pictogram: Rethinking Hélène Cixous’s écriture féminine. Textual Practice, 6(2), 225–246.Google Scholar
  6. Behar, R. (1996). The vulnerable observer: Anthropology that breaks your heart. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Blyth, I. (2004). Hélène Cixous: Live theory. New York, NY: Continuum.Google Scholar
  8. Braidotti, R. (1991). Patterns of dissonance. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  9. Braidotti, R. (2011). Nomadic subjects: Embodiment and sexual difference in contemporary feminist theory (2 ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bray, A. (2004). Hélène Cixous: Writing and sexual difference. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  11. Cixous, H. (1976). The laugh of the Medusa. Signs, 1(4), 875–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cixous, H. (1991). Coming to writing and other essays. In S. Suleiman, (Ed.) and S. Cornell, (trans.) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cixous H. (1994). In S. Sellers (ed.) The Hélène Cixous Reader. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Cixous, H. (1997). Sorties: out and out: attacks/ways out/forays. In A. D. Schrift (Ed.), The logic of the gift: Toward and ethic of generosity. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Cixous, H., & Calle-Gruber, M. (1997). Rootprints: Memory and life writing (E. Prenowitz trans.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Cixous, H., & Clement, C. (1986). The newly born woman. Minneapolis, MS: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  17. Connell, R. (2014). Feminist scholarship and the public realm in postcolonial Australia. Australian Feminist Studies, 29(80), 215–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cuomo, D., & Massaro, V. A. (2016). Boundary-making in feminist research: New methodologies for ‘intimate insiders’. Gender, Place & Culture, 23(1), 94–106.Google Scholar
  19. David, M. (2014). Feminism, gender and universities: Politics passions and pedagogies. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  20. Davis, K. (1997). What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? The ambivalences of professional feminism. In L. Stanley (Ed.), Knowing feminisms. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  21. Derrida, J. (1976). Of grammatology. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Derrida, J., Cixous, H., Armel, A., & Thompson, A. (2006). From the word to life: A dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous. New Literary History, 37(1), 1–13.Google Scholar
  23. Eagleton, M. (Ed.) (1996). Feminist literary theory: A reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Ellis, C. (2004). The ethnographic I: A methodological novel about autoethnography. Walnut Creek, MA: Alta Mira Press.Google Scholar
  25. Epstein, D., Boden, R., & Kenway, J. (2007). Teaching and supervision. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Fletcher, B. ([1991] 2002). The word burners. North Melbourne, VIC: Spinifex.Google Scholar
  27. Fotaki, M. (2013). No woman is like a man (in academia): The masculine symbolic order and the unwanted female body. Organization Studies, 34(9), 1251–1275.Google Scholar
  28. Gal, S. (1991). Between speech and silence: The problematics of research on language and gender. In M. di Leonardo (Ed.), Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge: Feminist anthropology in the postmodern era. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Gatens, M. (1992). Power, bodies and difference. In M. Barrett & A. Phillips (Eds.), Destabilising theory (pp. 120–137). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  30. Gill, R. (2010). Breaking the silence: The hidden injuries of the Neoliberal University. In R. Ryan-Flood & R. Gill (Eds.), Secrecy and silence in the research process: Feminist reflections. Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Glass, K. (2010). Calling all sisters: Continental philosophy and black feminist thinkers. In M. Guadalupe Davidson, K. T. R. Gines, & D. L. Marcano (Eds.), Convergences: Black feminism and continental philosophy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  32. Grande, S. (2003). Whitestream feminism and the colonialist project. Educational Theory, 53(3), 329–346.Google Scholar
  33. Greene, M. (1994). Postmodernism and the crisis of representation. English Education, 26(4), 206–219.Google Scholar
  34. Grosz, E. (2010b). The untimeliness of feminist theory. NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 18(1), 48–51.Google Scholar
  35. Haraway, D. (1997). Modest_Witness@Second_Millenium.FemaleMan©_Meets_OncoMouseTM: Feminism and Technoscience. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  36. Hill Collins, P. (1990). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Höpfl, H. (2000). The suffering mother and the miserable son: Organizing women and organising women’s writing. Gender, Work, and Organization, 7(2), 98–105.Google Scholar
  38. Holman Jones, S. (1998). Kaleidoscope notes: Writing women’s music and organizational culture. Walnut Creek, MA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  39. Huggins, J. (1998). Are all the women white? In J. Huggins (Ed.), Sister girl: The writings of Aboriginal activist and historian. St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  40. Irigaray, L. (1985). The sex which is not one. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Leavy, P. (2012a). Fiction and the feminist academic novel. Qualitative Inquiry, 18(6), 516–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leavy, P. (2012b). Low-fat love. Dordrecht: SensePublishers.Google Scholar
  43. Leavy, P. (2015). Blue. Dordrecht: SensePublishers.Google Scholar
  44. Lie, S. (2012). Medusa’s laughter and the hows and whys of writing according to Hélène Cixous. In M. Livholts (Ed.), Emergent writing methodologies in feminist studies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  45. Livholts, M. (ed) (2012). Emergent writing methodologies in feminist studies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Lorde, A. (1984). Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press.Google Scholar
  47. Michaels, M. (2012). Anecdote. In C. Lury & N. Wakeford (Eds.), Inventive methods: The happening of the social. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Moreton-Robinson, A. (2000). Talkin’ up to the white woman: Aboriginal women and feminism. St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press.Google Scholar
  49. Phillips, M. (2014). Re-writing corporate environmentalism: Ecofeminism, corporeality and the language of feeling. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(5), 443–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Phillips, M., Pullen, A., & Rhodes, C. (2014). Writing organisation as gendered practice: Interrupting the libidinal economy. Organization Studies, 35(3), 313–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pierre, E. S. (2000). Poststructural feminism in education: An overview. Qualitative Studies in Education, 13(5), 477–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Potts, T., & Price, J. (1995). Out of the blood and spirit of our lives: The place of the body in academic feminism. In L. Morley & V. Walsh (Eds.), Feminist academics: Creative agents for change. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  53. Rosenfeld, M. (1981). Language and the vision of a Lesbian-Feminist Utopia in Wittig’s “Les Guérillères”. Frontiers, 6(1), 6–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shildrick, M., & Price, J. (1996). Breaking the boundaries of the broken body. Body and Society, 2(4), 93–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Skeggs, B. (2014). Value beyond value? Is anything beyond the logic of Capital? The British Journal of Sociology, 65(1), 1–20.Google Scholar
  56. Stanley, L. (1997). Knowing feminisms. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Taylor, J. (2011). The intimate insider: Negotiating the ethics of friendship when doing insider research. Qualitative Research, 11(1), 3–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weil, K. (2006). French feminisms ecriture feminine. In E. Rooney (Ed.), The Cambridge companion to feminist literary theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Wise, S., & Stanley, L. (1993). Breaking out again: Feminist ontology and epistemology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Woolf, V. ([1942] 1992). Professions for women. In D. Bradshaw (Ed.), Virginia Woolf: Selected essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Briony Lipton
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Mackinlay
    • 2
  1. 1.School of SociologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations