Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Julia Kristeva

My entry on Julia Kristeva has just been published in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Here’s a snippet:

Born in Bulgaria in 1941 and an emigré to Paris in 1965, Julia Kristeva is a world-renowned philosopher, novelist and practising psychoanalyst. Author of more than 30 books and a professor emeritus at University of Paris VII–Denis Diderot, she has been awarded Commander of the Legion of Honour, Commander of the Order of Merit, the Holberg Prize, the Hannah Arendt Prize and the Vaclav Havel Prize. Her early work, Revolution in Poetic Language (1974), distinguished her as a major poststructuralist thinker, especially for its new ways of conceiving of the speaking being as one who is always subject to the revolutionary power of the affective dimensions of language, that is, the semiotic dimension, which, with the symbolic dimension, produces signification. In her major works of the 1980s – Powers of Horror (1980), Tales of Love (1984) and Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia (1987) – she developed new psychoanalytic theories of early development which gave ‘the maternal function’ a central role that had been neglected by previous psychoanalytic theories. Kristeva is also the author of numerous works of fiction, mostly detective novels with female protagonists, in which she tries to exemplify some of her theoretical ideas. These include The Old Man and the Wolves (1994), Possessions: A Novel (1996) and Murder in Byzantium(2006). Over the past 20 years she has turned to intellectual biography with the trilogy Female Genius: Hannah Arendt (1999), Melanie Klein (2000) and Colette (2002); and more general social theory with Hate and Forgiveness (2005) and The Incredible Need to Believe (2009). She has also continued her inquiry into revolt with books on the importance of self-reflection, critical questioning and inquiry in works such asProust and the Sense of Time (1994), Intimate Revolt (1997) and the essay, ‘New Forms of Revolt’ (2014).

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By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

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