Sandra Lee Bartky

Sandra Bartky has died today. I have posted elsewhere (here and here) about one of her most famous works (or infamous, if you hate feminism, “post-structuralism”, and/or Foucault), “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power” (1988). I usually let the work and the author stand on their own, bur Bartky is famous for bridging what people saw as the unbridgeable: on the one hand, that of post-structuralism and the work of people like Michel Foucault, and on the other, feminism (which Foucault never dealt with directly or explicitly). That is, Bartky was, I think, one of the few primary theorists that synthesized a post-structural feminism (see the above linked article for an interesting and in-depth, albeit short, look into this synthesis). In the same vein she can be grouped into other feminist phenomenologists or phenomenological feminists that synthesized or are grouped into a post-structural feminism, like Judith Butler, Susan Bordo, or Nancy Fraser. The phenomenology tradition is fairly evident in the title of Bartky’s most famous book, “Femininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression” (1990), and I will be including quotes from that book eventually. Another self-evident and famous work by her is the article, “Toward a Phenomenology of Feminist Consciousness” (1975). In any case, her contributions and works remain important in all three traditions and she will be remembered, certainly to me, as a prominent theorist and important philosopher.

Edit (9/24/16 8:51pm): Yesterday, the New York Times released a short obituary on Bartky that I think is worth reading, titled, “Sandra Lee Bartky, at the Vanguard of Feminist Philosophy, Dies at 81“.

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