Kyoo Lee Lecture
Seeking to start a philopoetic dialogue, across the board, on the birth of being, this piece sets out to explore a feminist phenomenological reading of Daodejing as a case in point, focusing on the material potentiality and inner multiplicity of the female or the feminine captured in this understudied image-concept in Chapter Six, Xuanpin (the womb, the dark female animal), a key embodiment of Gushen (the spirit of the valley). This Daoist classic, opened up this way more or less literally with corrective attention to the sex of Dao rather than the Dao of sex, provides conceptual resources for contemporary feminist discourse on animality, natality and vitality. Such an attempt to dynamize the onto-phenomenological paradigm of life and death or rather living and dying, while thinking and writing across time and space, entails, first, taking Xuanpin as gender-bending rather than gender-binarized, the specific sexuatedness (F) notwithstanding; interrogated here, accordingly and in parallel, are the tendencies in canonical Daoist scholarship to self-servingly generalize or genealogize Xuanpin through metaphysical or patriarchal dialectics, through, for instance, the anthropomorphic schematization and rhetoricization of Yin and Yang.
On the Transformative Potential of “Xuanpin (the Dark Female Animal)” in Daodejing Kyoo Lee
Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:00pm
Summit Village, Breckenridge 5101
1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80918