In the past two decades, feminist scholars have produced an abundance of theoretical writing in humanities and social science disciplines. The result is a body of work that is extraordinarily rich, hard to keep up with, and extremely difficult to teach.With the appearance of Theorizing Feminism: Parallel Trends in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the first genuinely interdisciplinary anthology of significant contributions to feminist theory, teachers will finally have a volume that does justice to their topic. Creatively edited, with insightful (...) introductory material, this timely reader illuminates the historical development of feminist theory as well as the current state of the field.Emphasizing common themes and interests in the humanities and social sciences, the editors have chosen those topics that have been central to feminist theory in many disciplines, that remain relevant to current debates, and that reflect the interests of a diverse community of thinkers.The contributors include leading figures from psychology, literary criticism, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, art history, law, and economics. This is the ideal text for any advanced course on interdisciplinary feminist theory, one that fills a long-standing gap in feminist pedagogy. (shrink)
In her latest book, Dr. Louise Kaplan, author of the groundbreaking Female Perversions, explores the fetishism strategy, a psychological defense that aims to tame, subdue, and if necessary, murder human vitalities. Through an exploration of such cultural phenomena as footbinding, reality television, and the construction of robots, Kaplan demonstrates how, in a technology-driven world, an understanding of the fetishism strategy can help to preserve the human dialogue that is the basis of all human relationships. Kaplan writes from the heart as (...) well as from the intellect. (shrink)
In recent years feminist scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of the body and its representations in virtually every social, cultural, and intellectual context. Many have argued that because women are more closely identified with their bodies, they have access to privileged and different kinds of knowledge than men. In this landmark new book, Paula Cooey offers a different perspective on the significance of the body in the context of religious life and practice. Building on the pathbreaking work of (...) Elaine Scarry in The Body in Pain, Cooey looks at a wide range of evidence, from the Argentine prison narrative of Alicia Partnoy, to the novels of Toni Morrison and the paintings of Frida Kahlo. Drawing on current social theory and critique, cognitive psychology, contemporary fiction and art, and women's accounts of religious experience, Cooey relates the reality of sentience to the social construction of reality. Beginning with an examination of the female body as a metaphor for alternative knowledge, she considers the significance of physical pain and pleasure to the religious imagination, and the relations between sentience, sensuality, and female subjectivity. Cooey succeeds in bringing forward a sophisticated new understanding of the religious importance of the body, at the same time laying the foundations of a feminist theory of religion. (shrink)
This new collection of essays by leading feminist critics highlights the fresh perspectives that feminism can offer to the discussion of past philosophers. Rather than defining itself through opposition to a "male" philosophical tradition, feminist philosophy emerges not only as an exciting new contribution to the history of philosophy, but also as a source of cultural self-understanding in the present.
Thinking About Sexual Harassment aims to provide the information necessary for careful, critical thinking about the concept of sexual harassment. Part I traces the construction of the concept of sexual harassment from the first public uses of the term through its definitions in the law, in legal cases, and in empirical research. Part II analyses philosophical definitions of sexual harassment and a number of issues that have arisen in the law, including the reasonable woman standard and whether same-sex harassment should (...) be considered sex discrimination. (shrink)
Feminist Amnesia is an important challenge to contemporary academic feminism. Jean Curthoys argues that the intellectual decline of university arts education and the loss of a deep moral commitment in feminism are related phenomena. The contradiction set up by the radical ideas of the 1960s, and institutionalised life of many of its protagonists in the academy, has produced a special kind of intellectual distortion. This book criticizes current trends in feminist theory from the perspective of forgotten and allegedly outdated feminist (...) ideas. (shrink)
Feminism and the Body presents classic texts in feminist body studies. Intended for undergraduate and graduate students, the volume touches on the medical history of sexual differences, the political history of the body, the history of clothing and its cultural meanings, symbolic renderings of the body, male bodies, and the body in colonial and cross-cultural contexts.
The notion of citizenship is complex; it can be at once an identity; a set of rights, privileges, and responsibilities; an elevated and exclusionary status, a relationship between individual and state, and more. In recent decades citizenship has attracted interdisciplinary attention, particularly with the transnational growth of Western capitalism. Yet citizenship's relationship to gender has gone relatively unexplored--despite that throughout much of human history, women have been and continue to be denied citizenship, sometimes at even the lowest rank. This highly (...) interdisciplinary volume explores the political and cultural dimensions of citizenship and their relevance to women and gender. Containing essays by a well-known group of scholars, including Iris Marion Young, Alison Jaggar, Martha Nussbaum, and Sandra Bartky, this book examines the conceptual issues and strategies at play in the feminist quest to give women full citizenship status. The contributors take a fresh look at the issues, going beyond conventional critiques, and examine problems in the political and social arrangements, practices, and conditions that diminish women's citizenship in various parts of the world, including both Western and undeveloped nations. (shrink)
Sharge explores the moral pemises of feminist sexual politics, focusing in particular on the emotive issues of abortion, prostitution and adultery, in order to develop an interpretative and pluralist approach to feminist ethics.
This collection of original essays by leading philosophers probes the philosophical aspects of rape in all of its manifestations: act, crime, practice, and institution. Among the issues examined are the nature of rape; the wrongfulness and harmfulness of rape; the relation of rape to racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression; and the legitimacy of various rape-law doctrines. Each contributor advances a novel argument and seeks to disentangle the conceptual, evaluative, and empirical issues that arise in connection with the (...) crime. This essential reference work is among the first philosophical anthologies devoted exclusively to the subject of rape--as complex and interesting intellectually as it is pervasive and disturbing socially. (shrink)
Everyone loves something or somebody, and most people are concerned with loving another person like themselves, all equal. This book is based on the belief that getting clear about the concept and meaning of love between equals is essential for success in our practical lives. For how can we love properly unless we have a fairly clear idea of what love is? The book is written in ordinary language and for the ordinary person, without jargon or philosophical technicalities. It aims (...) to show that love between equals involves a single basic disposition, though that disposition expresses itself in various ways. Thus, after an introduction explaining the need for analysis and clarification, the author then deals in order with love as desire or need; with intrinsic friendship and sharing the self; with basic difficulties concerning power, dependence, altruism and paranoia; with sex and erotic love; and finally with the value in human life of love between equals. The work as a whole gives clear, coherent and practical guidance for all who wish to grasp what such love is really like. (shrink)
One of America's foremost public intellectuals, Jean Bethke Elshtain has been on the frontlines in the most hotly contested and deeply divisive issues of our time. Now in Real Politics , Elshtain gives further proof of her willingness to speak her mind, courting disagreement and even censure from those who prefer their ideologies neat. At the center of Elshtain's work is a passionate concern with the relationship between political rhetoric and political action. For Elshtain, politics is a sphere of concrete (...) responsibility. Political speech should, therefore, approach the richness of actual lives and commitments rather than present impossible utopias. In her essays, Elshtain finds in the writings of Václav Havel, Hannah Arendt, and Albert Camus a language appropriate to the complexity of everyday life and politics, and she critiques philosophers and writers who distance us from a concrete, embodied world. She argues against those repressive strains within contemporary feminism which insist that families and even sexual differentiation are inherently oppressive. Along the way, she challenges an ideology of victimization that too often loses sight of individual victims in its pursuit of abstract goals. Elshtain reaffirms the quirky and by no means simple pleasures of small-town life as a microcosm of the human condition and considers the current crisis in American education and its consequences for democracy. Beyond exploring the details of political life over the past two decades, Real Politics advocates a via media politics that avoids unacceptable extremes and serves as a model for responsible political discourse. Throughout her diverse and insightful writings, Elshtain champions a civic philosophy that tends to the dignity of everyday life as a democratic imperative of the first order. "Jean Bethke Elshtain is a person of rare intellect. The moral wisdom that pervades these essays reminds us that when all is said and done politics is about the life and death of real people who are anything but abstractions. Her erudition is remarkable, but equally stunning is her eye for the significant. What she is so good at is helping us see the moral and political significance of the everyday."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University " Real Politics serves as a forceful reminder that Jean Elshtain has been dealing with the real world in twenty-five years of powerful essaying. Transcending ideological categories, she writes out of hope that human beings can enjoy those capacities of reason and faith which make them human. It is a pleasure to be reintroduced to her sustained intelligence."--Alan Wolfe, Boston University. (shrink)
Radical Feminism Today offers a timely and engaging account of exactly what feminism is, and what it is not. Author Denise Thompson questions much of what has come to be taken for granted as `feminism' and points to the limitations of implicitly defining feminism in terms of `women', `gender', `difference' or `race//gender//class'. She challenges some of the most widely accepted ideas about feminism and in doing so opens up a number of hitheto closed debates, allowing for the possibility of moving (...) those debates further. (shrink)
In the past decade the central principles of western feminist theory have been dramatically challenged. many feminists have endorsed post-structuralism's rejection of essentialist theoretical categories, and have added a powerful gender dimension to contemporary critiques of modernity. Earlier 'women' have been radically undermined, and newer concerns with 'difference', 'identity', and 'power' have emerged. Destabilizing Theory explores these developments in a set of specially commissioned essays by feminist theorists. Does this change amount to a real shift within feminist theory, or will (...) feminism's links with an emancipatory modernism reinstate an older political agenda? Can we transcend the common counterposition of equality and difference, or is feminism condemned to argue within the terms of this binary opposition? (shrink)
The power of new medical technologies, the cultural authority of physicians, and the gendered power dynamics of many patient-physician relationships can all inhibit women's reproductive freedom. Often these factors interfere with women's ability to trust themselves to choose and act in ways that are consistent with their own goals and values. In this book Carolyn McLeod introduces to the reproductive ethics literature the idea that in reproductive health care women's self-trust can be undermined in ways that threaten their autonomy. Understanding (...) the importance of self-trust for autonomy, McLeod argues, is crucial to understanding the limits on women's reproductive freedom. -/- McLeod brings feminist insights in philosophical moral psychology to reproductive ethics, and to health-care ethics more broadly. She identifies the social environments in which self-trust is formed and encouraged. She also shows how women's experiences of reproductive health care can enrich our understanding of self-trust and autonomy as philosophical concepts. The book's theoretical components are grounded in women's concrete experiences. The cases discussed, which involve miscarriage, infertility treatment, and prenatal diagnosis, show that what many women feel toward themselves in reproductive contexts is analogous to what we feel toward others when we trust or distrust them. -/- McLeod also discusses what health-care providers can do to minimize the barriers to women's self-trust in reproductive health care, and why they have a duty to do so as part of their larger duty to respect patient autonomy. (shrink)
Power is clearly a crucial concept for feminist theory. Insofar as feminists are interested in analyzing power, it is because they have an interest in understanding, critiquing, and ultimately challenging the multiple array of unjust power relations affecting women in contemporary Western societies, including sexism, racism, heterosexism, and class oppression.In The Power of Feminist Theory, Amy Allen diagnoses the inadequacies of previous feminist conceptions of power, and draws on the work of a diverse group of theorists of power, including Michel (...) Foucault, Judith Butler, and Hannah Arendt, in order to construct a new feminist conception of power. The conception of power developed in this book enables readers to theorize domination, resistance, and solidarity, and, perhaps more importantly, to do so in a way that illuminates the interrelatedness of these three modalities of power. (shrink)
The last decade has seen the transformation of the study of sexuality from a marginalized effort to a fully respected discipline at many major universities. There are numerous publications devoted solely to the topic and queer theory, a force to be reckoned with, has its own celebrities. Nonetheless, queer studies is considered to be the brainchild of the humanities, with the social sciences slowly coming around to apply its principles to empirical research. Long, Slow Burn, a powerful collection of essays (...) by Kath Weston, argues that social science has been talking about sex all along; to deny this one would have to overlook Kinsey's pioneering sex research in the 1950s, or the psychiatrist Evelyn Hooker's pathbreaking study of homosexuality, but also in the "sex talk" that lies at the heart of classic debates on kinship, inequality, cognition, and other foundational topics in the social sciences. What is different now, Weston claims, is the way sexuality has been isolated from other contemporary issues. Long, Slow Burn lays out a radically different approach to the study of sexuality. Not content with its ghettoization as a contained subfield, Weston refuses to draw an artificial line around sexuality. Her essays do not attempt to make sexuality a discrete object of study. Rather, each essay "sexes up" a conventional subject, such as kinship, race or labor, proving that once you start paying attention to sexuality, you can never look at social issues in the same way again. Long, Slow Burn offers an intervention, an attempt to see sexuality as it permeates the multiple fibers of our social fabric. It demonstrates that sexuality has always been a part of the social sciences, but more importantly, is the key to their future. (shrink)
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. The (...) chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
Have we entered a historical moment of 'post-feminism'? This volume presents a timely and convincing 'no'. These essays demonstrate that there is a new generation of French women who take up questions of equality and difference from a position distinct from either first or second wave feminism, a position that often attempts to move beyond the binary of equality and/or difference to a new form of the individual.
Are we in a post-feminist era? Has the term, feminist, grown out of its resisted stance? What from today's standpoint is an appropriate concept of feminist philosophy? And is it not the case that all people thinking democratically must share its central concern? In Feminist Philosophy , internationally acclaimed philosopher Herta Nagl-Docekal discusses and critiques the theories of today. Her study ranges across philosophical anthropology, aesthetics, philosophy of science, the critique of reason, political theory, and philosophy of law. Feminist Philosophy (...) confronts the entire field with the problem of the hierarchical relations of the sexes. Throughout her work, Nagl-Docekal affirms the importance of feminist thought as she presses for new approaches to common problems. (shrink)