Luce Irigaray is trained in philosophy, linguistics, literature, psychology and psychoanalysis. She has got a doctorate in philosophy and literature (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1955); in linguistics (University of Nanterre, France, 1968); in philosophy (University Paris-Vincennes, 1974). She also received four honorary doctorates from the School of Advanced Studies of the University of London; from the University College of London; from the University of Nottingham; from the University of Bergen, Norway.
Luce Irigaray made her career in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France. She has held a seminar in University of Paris-Vincennes and in the College de Philosophie, Paris, but also in various universities across the world — for example in the University of Rotterdam (Holland), the University of Bergen (Norway), the University of Macerata (Italy). She also gave lectures and participated in conferences all over the world.
Luce Irigaray published more than 40 books, which are translated in many languages. Six of them gather articles, notably in linguistics, written by researchers of various cultures and languages.
From 15 years, Luce Irigaray holds, in UK and in English, a one-week seminar for researchers doing their PhD on her work. This seminar has been welcomed by the University of Nottingham, the University of Liverpool, by Queen’s Mary College, University of London, by the Goodenough College in London, by the University of Bristol and the University of West England. The researchers who participated in the seminar come from various regions of the world — from many countries of Europe, from USA, from China, India, Japan, Australia, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, etc. These researchers belong to different cultures, traditions, and fields of research. Two volumes gathering their presentations in the seminar have been edited by Luce Irigaray in collaboration with an Anglophone researchers: Luce Irigaray: Teaching (Continuum, 2008 , edited with Mary Green) and Building a New World (Palgrave, 2015, with Michael Marder). A third volume — Towards a New Human Being — edited by Luce Irigaray with Mahon O’Brien and Christos Hadjioannou (and which will be delivered to the publisher by the end of March 2018) also includes 8 texts of researchers who participated in her one-week seminar for PhD.
Luce Irigaray, (born 1932?, Belgium), French linguist, psychoanalyst, and feminist philosopher who examined the uses and misuses of language in relation to women.
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Irigaray was circumspect about revealing details of her personal life or upbringing; she believed that interpreters and critics within the male-dominated academic establishment typically use such information to distort or dismiss the work of challenging women thinkers. She studied in Belgium at the Catholic University of Leuven and later at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes), where she received a doctorate in linguistics in 1968. In the 1960s she trained as a psychoanalyst at the École Freudienne de Paris (Freudian School of Paris), founded in 1964 by the philosopher and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. The publication of her second doctoral thesis (in philosophy), Speculum de l’autre femme (1974; Speculum of the Other Woman), which was highly critical of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, resulted in her dismissal from her teaching positions at Vincennes and the École Freudienne. From 1964 Irigaray held a research position at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Centre for Scientific Research) in Paris.
Irigaray was best known for her theory of “sexual difference,” according to which the supposedly sexless notion of the subject, or ego, in Western philosophy and psychoanalytic theory subtly reflects the interests and perspectives of men, while women are associated with the nonsubject (the Other) or with matter and nature. She argued that there is no authentic heterosexuality in Western culture, because the culture represents or cultivates only a male subject, not a female one, particularly in the domains of law, religion, political theory, philosophy, and art. Irigaray’s project was to introduce into this philosophical heritage two sexed subjects and to call for the development of a culture and an ethics that would do justice to both. She conceived of her work as comprising three phases: the first phase demonstrates the masculine perspective that has dominated Western discourse; the second sketches possibilities for the construction of a feminine subject; and the third aims to develop the social, legal, and ethical conditions necessary for relations between two differently sexed subjects.