On voice and silence. Giving life to a story and story to a life

Document Type



VDM Verlag Dr. Muller

Place of Publication

Saarbrucken, Germany


Computing, Health and Science


Psychology and Social Science




Hopkins, L. (2009). On voice and silence. Giving life to a story and story to a life. Saarbrucken Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller. original book available here


What happens when feminist academics actively encourage students to grapple with poststructuralist thinking? Is it possible to enact a collective feminist politics based in poststructuralist understandings of subjectivity and power? How does one negotiate the tension between the old desire for a unitary and coherent personal and collective identity, and an emerging desire for a personal and collective complexity shot through with multiple differences? This qualitative research thesis draws on Drusilla Modjeska's fictionalised biography, Poppy, to bring poststructuralist thinking to life. It maps the process of finding, and sometimes losing, a feminist activist voice in contemporary Australia. It intertwines poetry, prose, story, theoretical analysis, reflection, journal writing, transcript of interview, and fanciful imagining to investigate the processes of re-storying the self in the light of current feminist understandings of subjectivity, voice and power.