ⓘ Toril Moi

Toril Moi

ⓘ Toril Moi

Toril Moi is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies and Professor of English, Philosophy and Theatre Studies at Duke University. Moi is also the Director of the Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature at Duke. As an undergraduate, she attended University of Bergen, where she studied in the Literature Department. Previously she held positions as a lecturer in French at the University of Oxford and as Director of the Center for Feminist Research at the University of Bergen, Norway. She lived in Oxford, United Kingdom from 1979 to 1989. Moi lives in North Carolina. She works on feminist theory and womens writing; on the intersections of literature, philosophy and aesthetics; and is fundamentally concerned with "finding ways of reading literature with philosophy and philosophy with literature without reducing the one to the other."

In 2002, she was awarded an honorary degree, doctor philos. honoris causa, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. In 1998, she won Dukes University Teacher of the Year Award and in 2008 she won the Deans Award for Excellence in Mentoring of Graduate Students.

She is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.


1. On feminist theories

Moi made her name with Sexual/Textual Politics 1986, a survey of second-wave feminism in which she contrasted the more empirical Anglo-American school of writings, such as gynocriticism, with the more theoretical French proponents of Ecriture feminine. While widely perceived at the time as an attack on the Anglo-American approach, Moi would later highlight her respect for their more politicized stance, as opposed to the idealism of the post-structuralists. The book would also explore the concept of androgyny, along with its links to the anti-essentialism of the French school.

Sexual/Textual Politics was followed by further explorations of contemporary French feminists such as Julia Kristeva, before Moi turned to her ground-breaking 1998 study of Simone de Beauvoir. Over the following decade, however, her focus of attention shifted to ordinary language philosophy from existentialism. Her most recent book, Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell 2017, articulates an ordinary language philosophy-inspired approach to the task of literary criticism. The book has been praised by critics such as Rita Felski, R.M. Berry, Robert Pippin, and John Gibson. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books, V. Joshua Adams claims that Mois book "makes a case for rejecting the approach to language that the theory project produced," and that "beyond challenging the ways that literary studies thinks about language, Moi challenges the distinction between literature and life." Revolution of the Ordinary also makes important interventions in the field of postcritique.


2. Publications

  • ___, Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman 1994
  • ___ ed., French Feminist Thought 1987
  • Moi ed., The Kristeva Reader 1986
  • ___, Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory 1985; 2nd edition 2002
  • ___, What Is a Woman? And Other Essays 1999
  • ___, Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy Oxford University Press 2006. "A Norwegian translation was published by Pax Forlag Oslo in May 2006)
  • Moi, Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell 2017
  • Scholarship of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, ed. William E. Cain 1994 Toril Moi Sexual Textual Politics 1985 Interview with Sandra M. Gilbert and
  • crass insensitivity to the realities of adolescent female sexuality. Toril Moi was speaking for many when she accused Freud of phallocentrism, and his
  • Pelican Biographies ser. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0 - 14 - 021772 - X. Moi Toril 2006. Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy
  • Helga Nowotny ETH Zurich Kwame Anthony Appiah New York University Toril Moi Duke University Stein Kuhnle The Norwegian Academy og Science and
  • 1949 www.marxists.org. Appignanesi 2005, p. 82 Appignanesi 2005, p. 89 Moi Toril While We Wait: The English Translation of The Second Sex in Signs
  • the media world. It was seen as a term of both commendation and scorn. Toril Moi a professor at Duke University, originally coined the term in 1985 in

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