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The Menstrual Imaginary in Literature

Notes on a Wild Fluidity

  • Natalie Rose Dyer

Part of the Palgrave Studies in (Re)Presenting Gender book series (PSRG)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. What Is the Menstrual Imaginary?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 3-31
    3. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 33-52
    4. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 53-75
  3. The Menstrual Imaginary Against-the-Grain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 79-119
    3. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 121-161
    4. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 163-189
  4. Re-Imagined and New Menstrual Tales

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 191-191
    2. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 193-214
    3. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 215-231
    4. Natalie Rose Dyer
      Pages 233-240
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 241-250

About this book

Introduction

“As you take this remarkable journey through the feminist menstrual imaginary, Natalie Rose Dyer provides an innovative and energetic intersectional reading of sexual difference and menstrual activism. In an equally intriguing poetic intervention and a convincing argument, Rose Dyer outlines how menstrual activism subverts patriarchal power structures by embracing the specificities and creative potential the embodied experience of menstruation offers. Her concept of the ‘menstrual imaginary’ playfully and provocatively dismantles the overlapping systems of power colonizing the disorganized material flows of women’s bodies. This is a bold and extraordinarily perceptive rethinking of the feminist politics of corporeality.”

— Adrian Parr, Professor of Public Affairs and UNESCO Chair of Water and Human Settlements, University of Texas at Arlington, USA

This book draws on literary, cultural, and critical examples forming a menstrual imaginary—a body of work by women writers and poets that builds up a concept of women’s creativity in an effort to overturn menstrual prejudice. The text addresses key arbiters of the menstrual imaginary in a series of letters, including Sylvia Plath the initiator of ‘the blood jet’, Hélène Cixous the pioneer of a conceptual red ink and the volcanic unconscious, and Luce Irigaray the inaugurator of women’s artistic process relative to a vital flow of desire based in sexual difference. The text also undertakes provocative against-the-grain re-readings of the Medusa, the Sphinx, Little Red Riding Hood and The Red Shoes, as a means of affirmatively and poetically re-imagining a woman’s flow. Natalie Rose Dyer argues for re-envisioning menstrual bleeding and creativity in reaction and resistance to ongoing and problematic societal views of menstruation.

Keywords

feminist theory critical menstrual studies free bleeding menstrual bleeding Pussy Riot menstrual suppression period poverty menstrual prejudice

Authors and affiliations

  • Natalie Rose Dyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

Bibliographic information