Gender, sexual difference and knowledge in Bacon’s New Atlantis
marshalling of gender in
the New Atlantis and to argue that an understanding of Bacon’s
use and manipulation of the utopian genre helps re-articulate the
gendering of his epistemology. As a consequence of our theoretical approach, there are some key questions to ask about gender
and sexual difference in the New Atlantis. To what extent are
gender and sexual difference presented in normative terms
within the text and how do they relate to contemporary writings
about, and contests over, gender? Do they, for example, contest
Jacobean political norms? Does utopiandiscourse
by way of fiction, onto the territory of geographers. The geographer
David Harvey attempts the inverse of this in Spaces of Hope (2000).
Exemplifying the emerging correspondences between theories of the
metropolis and metropolitan fiction, Harvey’s analysis is embellished
with an appendix which (unwittingly?) uncovers some of the
contradictions between utopiandiscourse and utopian practice
(Harvey, 2000: 257–81). Harvey describes a possible vision of future
social relations constructed from the ashes of our present society (the
concrete realities of material
impacts on life itself, in the extent to which it pre supposes the equality of human beings.
29 Hardt and Negri cite Genet as an exemplary proponent of deterritorialised politics in Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), p. 109.
30 This of course conflicts with Derrida’s spectral notion of messianism developed in works such as Spectres of Marx : The State of the Debt , the Work of Mourning and the New International , trans. P. Kamuf (London: Routledge, 1994).
31 There is much in common here with Fredric Jameson’s notion of utopian
its inhabitants’. 33 Another divergence is that where historians remonstrate about the need to inoculate counterfactual inquiry against ‘imaginative literature’ and its (unserious) blandishments, 34 theorists have proposed to ‘historicize utopian thinking’ in a manner precisely opposite. 35 Caitríona Ní Dhúill proposes to relocate the phenomenon of utopiandiscourse—a historical event in its own right—explicitly ‘within [past] literary and imaginative practice’. 36
Noting that ‘criticism has only just begun to explore’ literary counterfactualism, organizers of