Feminist Experiences

E-book – $32.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3242-9

Paper Text – $32.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3240-5

Cloth Text – $89.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3241-2
Publication Date
January 2016
Page Count
200 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Feminist Experiences

Foucauldian and Phenomenological Investigations

Feminist Experiences develops and defends a distinctive understanding of feminist philosophy as social critique. Feminist philosophy is essentially a political endeavor, Johanna Oksala argues, aiming to expose, analyze, and ultimately change gendered power relations. However, such an understanding of feminist philosophy raises a host of theoretical problems and paradoxes. Oksala investigates the philosophical challenges and outlines the ontological presuppositions and methodological innovations the project requires.

Drawing on conceptual tools from the thought of Michel Foucault, but also from the tradition of phenomenology, she explores the role of experience in feminist philosophy and its relationship to language and linguistic meaning. Oksala concludes by sketching a feminist ontology of the present through a critical investigation of neoliberalism and the challenges it presents to feminist theory and politics.

About the Author

JOHANNA OKSALA is Academy of Finland research fellow in the department of philosophy, history, culture, and art studies at the University of Helsinki in Finland. She is the author of Foucault, Politics, and Violence (Northwestern University Press, 2011).


“In her vigorously argued and innovative new book, Oksala reconsiders the relation between experience and language in feminist metaphysics, feminist phenomenology and feminist political thought, and stakes out, from within phenomenology, a “post-phenomenological” position through insightful, against-the-grain readings and significant critiques of Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. It is a crucial addition to long-standing debates in feminist theory, and invaluable for helping to bring phenomenology into the 21st century." —Gayle Salamon, author of Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality

"Johanna Oksala’s sharp and incisive new book offers a defense of the ongoing importance, richness, and vitality of feminist philosophy on two fronts. Her defense offers a compelling response both to conservative critics who maintain that feminist philosophy is a contradiction in terms—because feminism is a partisan political movement whereas philosophy is allegedly a disinterested search for timeless, universal truths—and to colleagues in gender and cultural studies who see philosophy as too conservative a discipline to facilitate cutting edge feminist research." —Amy Allen, author of The End of Progress:  Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory

"This book has the clarity of style and the systematic and careful scholarship that readers have come to expect from Johanna Oksala. It also has remarkable breadth, engaging a wide range of feminist, phenomenological, and post-structuralist texts and weaving disparate ideas together in new and illuminating ways."
—Ladelle McWhorter, author of Bodies and Pleasures: Foucault and the Politics of Sexual Normalization