Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies Faculty Database
Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > GSF > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

Toril Moi, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Literature

Toril Moi
Office Location:  1316 Campus Drive, 108 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708-0403
Email Address:  send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Spring 2023):

  • Lit 285s.01, Existentialism Synopsis
    Friedl bdg 102, MW 12:00 PM-01:15 PM
    (also cross-listed as ENGLISH 285S.01, PHIL 285S.01)
  • Lit 285s.02, Existentialism Synopsis
    Friedl bdg 102, MW 01:45 PM-03:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as ENGLISH 285S.02, PHIL 285S.02)
Office Hours:

Fall 2021 Office Hours:

By appointment via Zoom


  • Dr. Art. University of Bergen (Norway) 1985
  • Mag. art. University of Bergen (Norway) 1980


Critical Theory
European Studies
French Literature
Comparative Literature
Gender Studies, Feminism, Women Studies, Queer Studies
Modernity and Modernism
Modern and Contemporary
Critical Theory, Philosophy
Comparative Studies: Translation, Travel Narratives, Trans-Culturality
Research Interests: Feminist Theory, Women’s Writing, Aesthetics, Literary Theory, Ordinary Language Philosophy, 19th and 20th Century European Literature, Theater

Toril Moi has three broad areas of interest: feminist theory and women's writing; the intersection of literature, philosophy and aesthetics; and ordinary language philosophy in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Cavell and Austin.

Toril Moi also works on theater. In her work on literature and theater she is particularly interested in the emergence of modernism in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Her books include Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (1985; 2nd edition 2002), Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman (1994; second edition with a major new introduction 2008); and What Is a Woman? And Other Essays (1999), republished in a shorter version as Sex, Gender and the Body (2005). She is the editor of The Kristeva Reader (1986), and of French Feminist Thought (1987).

In 2006, Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy, was published in English by Oxford University Press and in Norwegian by Pax Forlag (Oslo). The book won the MLA's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for the best book in Comparative Literary Studies in 2007. It is now available in paperback.

Toril Moi now works on three projects: (1) The Emergence of European Modernism 1870-1914; (2) Feminist Theory and Women Writers; and (3) "Pictures of Language": on the vision of language in ordinary language philosophy. She also continues to work on Henrik Ibsen's plays.

Toril Moi enjoys working with students at all levels. She won Duke's University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award in 1998, and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring of Graduate Students in 2008.

In her native Norway, Toril Moi writes a regular column for the financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

Curriculum Vitae
Representative Publications   (More Publications)
  1. Moi, T. Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy.  Oxford University Press, 2006: xvi + 396 pages.
  2. Moi, T. Sex, Gender and the Body: The Student Edition of What Is a Woman?.  Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: xv + 274 pages. (Contains the first two essays in What Is a Woman? and a new preface.)
  3. Moi, T. What Is a Woman? and Other Essays.  Oxford University Press, January, 1999: xv + 517 pages.
  4. Moi, T. Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory.  Methuen, 1985: xviii + 206 pages.

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * GSF * Faculty * Affliated * Grad * Staff * Reload * Login