Stephanie Clare is an interdisciplinary scholar who works at the intersections of feminist and queer theory, settler colonial studies, and science studies. She has taught at Rutgers University, the University of Oxford, and Duke University in multiple departments: from English to Philosophy, from African and African American Studies to Women’s Studies. She is currently writing a book manuscript, Earthly Encounters. The book examines relations between subjectivity and territory, land and the earth in twentieth-century world literature and philosophy, focusing especially on Canada. Her work has appeared in Diacritics, GLQ, differences, and Hypatia.
This dissertation draws out a point of resonance between Frantz Fanon’s and Luce Irigaray’ philosophies: Fanon and Irigaray demonstrate how the philosophy of difference– be it racial and/or sexual difference – and the philosophy of power relations – be it the analysis of patriarchy and/or colonialism – not only bring attention to racialized and gendered others, they also bring attention to land and the earth. In both authors’ works, abstract, homogenous empty space comes to the foreground, filled with the matter that constitutes it: earth, air, and land. The dissertation draws on Fanon’s and Irigaray’s treatment of space to reconsider central concepts that circulate in poststructuralist feminist thought: power, discourse, interiority, subjectivity, and sexuality. I read these concepts within the context of Canadian settler colonialism to foreground the politics of space. Most centrally, I argue that alongside the forms of power Michel Foucault analyzed at length exists another form of power, geopower, the force relations that transform the earth. I describe geopower through an analysis of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Ultimately, “Earthly Encounters” contributes to feminist, antiracist thought by bringing attention not simply to sexual or racial difference but also to the material differences that make up our world: animal, plant, and mineral.