Wingrove, Elizabeth Rose 1960–
WINGROVE, Elizabeth Rose 1960–
PERSONAL: Born 1960. Education: Brandeis University, Ph.D.
MEMBER: American Political Science Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Foundations of Political Thought Best Paper award, American Political Science Association, 1997, for "Republican Romance."
Rousseau's Republican Romance, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2000.
Contributor to volumes including Citizenship after Liberalism, edited by Karen Slawner and Mark Denham, Peter Lang Publishing Group (New York, NY), 1998. Contributor to periodicals including Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Women and Politics, and Political Theory.
SIDELIGHTS: Political scholar Elizabeth Rose Wingrove expands on the connection between sex and politics in Rousseau's Republican Romance, an exploration of the sexual politics of republicanism in French enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's works. The book also seeks to find a means of analytically linking together Rousseau's literary works on sex and sexuality with his political writings and treatises. "Wingrove's confident, complex, and provocative book takes up the central Rousseaun questions of power and will," commented Eve Grace in American Political Science Review.
In Rousseau's Republican Romance, "Wingrove convincingly argues that for Rousseau, consent always involves willing the circumstances of one's own domination, and is thus always a form of submission," explained Rebecca Kukla in Hypatia. This concept of "consensual nonconsensuality" allows individuals to constrain their behavior according to society's overall wishes and "is the precondition for our participation in social norms" and other forms of overarching social control, Kukla noted. "The problem of how to harmonize obedience and liberty is generally understood to be resolved by him through the doctrine of submission to the general will, by which each citizen sovereignly commands the law that in turn subjects him or her," Grace observed. Wingrove argues that "this interplay of power and will … is the stuff of romance, and romance the stuff of democratic self rule," in which the ideals of man and citizen "are simultaneously formed through induction into a heterosexual and political order," Grace noted. Wingrove, then, "reveals a Rousseau who introduces eros into the essential heart of republican citizenry, and relations of authority and coercion into the essential heart of romantic love," Kukla commented.
"Wingrove's book is an important and impressive contribution to Rousseau scholarship," Kukla noted, "and those of us who write directly on Rousseau will find her book helpful, interesting, and worth citing often." Although the book generates new understanding of Rousseau's works, Kukla found that it is was weakened because Wingrove does not apply this new understanding to a larger political or philosophical world and generalize her conclusions outside the sphere of Rousseau's writings. However, the critic wrote that Rousseau's Republican Romance constitutes "an important contribution to the theoretical history of gender," and concluded that "as a work of hermeneutic scholarship … is a success." Reviewing the book on PoliticalStudies.org, Ethan Putterman called Wingrove's w1ork "an original and engaging analytical bridge between Rousseau's literary and political writings."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Political Science Review, December, 2000, Eve Grace, "Rousseau, Nature, and the Problem of the Good Life," review of Rousseau's Republican Romance, p. 922.
Hypatia, spring, 2002, Rebecca Kukla, review of Rousseau's Republican Romance, p. 174.
American Political Science Association Web site, http://www.apsanet.org/ (July 26, 2004), "Foundations of Political Thought Award Winners."
PoliticalStudies.org, http://www.politicalstudies.org/ (August 20, 2004), Ethan Putterman, review of Rousseau's Republican Romance.
University of Michigan Web site, http://www.umich.edu/ (July 26, 2005), "Elizabeth Wingrove."