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.
This paper examines recent feminist work on Spinoza and identifies the elements of Spinoza’s philosophy that have been seen as promising for feminist naturalism. I argue that the elements of Spinoza’s work that feminist theorists have found so promising are precisely those concepts he derives from Hobbes. I argue that the misunderstanding of Hobbes as architect of the egoist model of human nature has effaced his contribution to Spinoza’s more praised conception of the human individual. Despite misconceptions, (...) I argue that the model of human nature, the view on human emotions and the conception of individual power that Hobbes created and Spinoza developed is an uncommonly useful one for feminist political theory. Through reexamining Hobbes’ model of human nature and the emotions I will argue that Hobbes’ theory of the internal weighing of emotions provides an important mechanism for understanding how the individuals’ affects can be reformed. I will show how we can use this naturalistic model of the human individual to answer contemporary theoretical and practical questions of how to empower women and how to effectively identify, challenge and change social categories, norms and institutions which are disempowering. In particular, I will argue that feminist projects of empowerment need a way to measure empowerment and a way to understand how to understand the power of harmful norms and customs. Understanding the way certain norms and practices disempower women while forming their affects and self‐conceptions provides the first step to reform of these practices. Spinoza and Hobbes provide us with a further tool to reform, and that is their understanding of the role of emotions in human action and power, and the need to reform and reorganize the emotions of individuals in order to escape harmful patterns of behavior. (shrink)
Feminist work in the history of philosophy has come of age as an innovative field in the history of philosophy. This volume marks that accomplishment with original essays by leading feminist scholars who ask basic questions: What is distinctive of feminist work in the history of philosophy? Is there a method that is distinctive of feminist historical work? How can women philosophers be meaningfully included in the history of the discipline? Who counts (...) as a philosopher? This collection is a unique collaboration among philosophers from North America and the Nordic Countries, including papers written from both analytic and continental philosophical perspectives and discussing both ancient and modern philosophers. Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy will be of interest to historians of philosophy, feminist theorists, women's studies faculty and students, and humanists interested in canon formation and transformation. (shrink)
Feministtheory is a central strand of cultural studies. This book explores the history of feminist cultural studies from the early work of Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, through the 1970s Women's Liberation Movement. It also provides a comprehensive introduction to the contemporary key approaches, theories and debates of feministtheory within cultural studies, offering a major re-mapping of the field. It will be an essential text for students taking (...) courses within both cultural studies and women's studies departments. (shrink)
Is logic masculine? Is women's lack of interest in the "hard core" philosophical disciplines of formal logic and semantics symptomatic of an inadequacy linked to sex? Is the failure of women to excel in pure mathematics and mathematical science a function of their inability to think rationally? Andrea Nye undermines the assumptions that inform these questions, assumptions such as: logic is unitary, logic is independenet of concrete human relations, and logic transcends historical circumstances as well as gender. In a series (...) of studies of the logics of historical figures--Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Abelard, Ockham, and Frege--she traces the changing interrelationships between logical innovation and oppressive speech strategies, showing that logic is not transcendent truth but abstract forms of language spoken by men, whether Greek ruling citizens, or scientists. (shrink)
Feminist Political Theory provides both a wide-ranging history of western feminist thought and a lucid analysis of contemporary debates. It offers an accessible and thought-provoking account of complex theories, which it relates to 'real-life' issues such as sexual violence, political representation and the family. This timely new edition has been thoroughly updated to incorporate the most recent developments in feminism and feminist scholarship throughout, in particular taking into account the impact of black and postmodern (...) class='Hi'>feminist thought on feminist political theory. (shrink)
A highly original work in history and theory, this survey considers major themes including identity, class and sexual difference, weaves them into debates on the nature and point of history, and arrives at new ways of doing history that – very unusually – consider non-Western history and feminist approaches. Using wide range of historical and cultural contexts, the study draws extensively on feminist scholarship, both feministhistory and postcolonial feminism.
Yielding Gender explores and reconsiders the tensions that deconstruction poses for feminist philosophy. Emphasizing the important role of deconstruction in revealing the ambiguity and unstable nature of gender, Penelope Deutscher asks the crucial question: does the very instability of gender mean that we can no longer talk of a man or a woman of reason in the history of philosophy? Using the work of Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray, Deutscher explores this question by examining the issue (...) of gender as "trouble", deconstruction and feminist criticism of the history of philosophy. She then considers and challenges feminist interpretations of some key figures in the history of philosophy. Deutscher sketches how Rousseau, St. Augustine and Simone de Beauvoir have described gender and argues that their readings of gender are in fact empowered by gender's own contradiction and instability rather than limited by it. (shrink)
Attending to the rich entanglements of scientific and critical theory, contributors to this issue scrutinize phenomena in nature to explore new territory in feminist science studies. With a special focus on relating theory to method, these scholars generate new feminist approaches to scientific practice. Contributors probe this relationship by way of topics from poetics of human-jellyfish interactions to a feminist reconsideration of a well-known thought experiment in thermodynamics. Two contributors analyze plant-insect encounter research to spin (...) their own symbiotically inflected account of “affective ecologies.” Technologies of human memory storage and retrieval lead one writer to interrogate how our understandings of memory and amnesia are currently under revision. Another contributor tracks the lively evolutionary and morphological theories that textile artisans manifest in material models of sea creatures. What emerges from these diverse essays is an approach to critical thinking that inhabits, elaborates, and feeds upon scientific theory, holding feministtheory accountable to science and vice versa. _Sophia Roosth_ is Assistant Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. _Astrid Schrader_ is Visiting Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Sarah Lawrence College. _Contributors_: Karen Barad, Lina Dib, Eva Hayward, Carla Hustak, Vicki Kirby, Natasha Myers, Sophia Roosth, Astrid Schrader. (shrink)
My purpose in this essay is to describe and define the ways in which Afro-American women intellectuals, in the last decade of the nineteenth century, theorized about the possibilities and limits of patriarchal power through its manipulation of racialized and gendered social categories and practices. The essay is especially directed toward two academic constituencies: the practitioners of Afro-American cultural analysis and of feminist historiography and theory. The dialogue with each has its own peculiar form, characterized by its own (...) specific history; yet both groups are addressed in an assertion of difference, of alterity, and in a voice characterized by an anger dangerously self-restrained. For it is not in the nature of Caliban to curse; rather, like Caliban, the black woman has learned from her behaviour of her master and mistress that if accommodation results in a patronizing loosening of her bonds, liberation will be more painful. Hazel V. Carby is assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University. She is the coauthor of the Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in Seventies Britain and the author of Uplifting as They Write: The Emergence of the Afro-American Woman Novelist. (shrink)
This essay assesses the value of social constructivist theories of science to the history of medicine. It highlights particularly the ways in which feminist theorists have turned their attention to gender as a category of analysis in scientific thinking, producing an approach to modern science that asks how it became identified with "male" objectivity, reason, and mind, set in opposition to "female" subjectivity, feeling, and nature.In the history of medicine this new work has allowed a group of (...) scholars to better explain not only how women were marginalized in the profession but also the manner in which politics, male anxiety about shifts in power relations between the sexes, social and political upheaval, professional concerns, and changes in the family all had an impact on the production of knowledge regarding the female body, including the "discovery," definition, and treatment of a wide range of female ailments, from anorexia nervosa to fibroid tumors.Building on the work in the history of medicine already accomplished, the essay offers a critical rereading of the writings of Elizabeth Blackwell, a pioneer nineteenth-century woman physician and leader of the woman's medical movement. It contends that Blackwell, who lived through a revolutionary change in medical thinking brought on by discoveries in immunology and bacteriology, remained critical of "objectivity" as the "best" form of knowing and suspicious of the laboratory medicine that promoted it so enthusiastically. Moreover, her critiques of radical objectivity and scientific reductionism deserve to be recognized as foreshadowing the maternalist strain of thinking among contemporary feminist philosophers and thinkers such as Sara Ruddick and others. (shrink)
Although feminist philosophers have been critical of the gendered norms contained within the history of philosophy, they have not extended this critical analysis to norms concerning disability. In the history of Western philosophy, disability has often functioned as a metaphor for something that has gone awry. This trope, according to which disability is something that has gone wrong, is amply criticized within Disability Studies, though not within the tradition of philosophy itself or even within feminist philosophy. (...) In this paper, I use one instance of this disability metaphor, contained within a passage from Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, in order to show that paying attention to disability and disability theory can enable identification of ableist assumptions within the tradition of philosophy and can also open up new interpretations of canonical texts. On my reading, whereas Hegel’s expressed views of disability are dismissive, his logic and its treatment of contingency offer up useful ways to situate and re-evaluate disability as part of the concept of humanity. Disability can in fact be useful to Hegel, especially in the context of his valorization of experiences of disruption and disorientation. Broadening our understanding of the possible ways that the philosophical tradition has conceived human beings allows us to better draw on its theoretical resources. (shrink)
This essay traces the notion of abstraction through the works of Gillian Howie as a means of thinking through the nature of critique within philosophy of religion. In particular, it argues that Howie’s recovery of a more productive conception of abstraction in her late Between Feminism and Materialism is closely linked to the resurgence of real abstraction in recent Marxist theory. From these shifts, one can derive both an enriched conception of religion as real abstraction and a method of (...) critical history that offers a genuine alternative within the contemporary study of philosophy of religion. (shrink)
What can psychoanalysis offer contemporary arguments in the fields of Feminism, Queer Theory and Post-Colonialism? Jan Campbell introduces and analyses the way that psychoanalysis has developed and made problematic models of subjectivity linked to issues of sexuality, ethnicity, gender, and history. Via discussions of such influential and diverse figures as Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Dollimore, Bhabha, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker, Campbell uses psychoanalysis as a mediatory tool in a range of debates across the human sciences, while also arguing (...) for a transformation of psychoanalytic theory itself. (shrink)
Fox-Genovese, Kaminer, and Riley all write the history of feminism as a history of conflict between feminists who desire to deny difference in favor of equality and those who desire to celebrate difference. And they all ask what this contradiction lying at the heart of feministtheory implies for the practice of feminist politics. These works reveal the need for feminists who engage this debate to be self-conscious in their formulations.
This book is a study of post World War II feministtheory from the viewpoint of intellectual history. The key theme is that the social construction of gender has its origins in the feminist theorists of this period. This paradigm is a key foundational element to both second and third wave feminist thought. It will focus on the five key scholars of the period: Komarovsky, de Beauvoir, Mead, Klein and Herschberger. This has been a somewhat (...) overlooked period in the development of feministtheory and philosophy and Tarrant makes a compelling case for it (the fifties) being the turning point in the study of gender. (shrink)
Introduction -- By way of nomadism -- Context and generations -- Sexual difference theory -- On the female feminist subject : from "she-self" to "she-other" -- Sexual difference as a nomadic political project -- Organs without bodies -- Images without imagination -- Mothers, monsters, and machines -- Discontinuous becomings : Deleuze and the becoming-woman of philosophy -- Envy and ingratitude: men in feminism -- Conclusion. Geometries of passion : a conversation.
The most comprehensive collection of its kind, Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues, Third Edition, is organized into three parts, providing instructors with flexibility in designing and teaching a variety of courses in moral philosophy. The first part, Historical Sources, moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus) through medieval views (Augustine and Aquinas) to modern theories (Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham, and Mill), culminating with leading nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers (Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Camus, and Sartre). The (...) second part, Modern Ethical Theory, includes many of the most important essays of the past century. The discussion of utilitarianism, Kantianism, egoism, and relativism continues in the work of major contemporary philosophers (Foot, Brandt, Williams, Wolf, and Nagel). Landmark selections (Moore, Prichard, Ross, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Baier, Anscombe, Gauthier, and Harman) reflect concern with moral language and the justification of morality. The concepts of justice (Rawls) and rights (Feinberg) are explored, as well as recent views on the importance of virtue ethics (Rachels) and an ethic influenced by feminist concerns (Held). In the third part, Contemporary Moral Problems, the readings present the current debates over abortion, euthanasia, famine relief, animal rights, the death penalty, and whether numbers should play a role in making moral decisions. The third edition expands Part II, Modern Ethical Theory, adding essays by Onora O'Neill, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Allan Gibbard, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, and Martha Nussbaum. Part III, Contemporary Moral Problems, features new essays on abortion by Mary Anne Warren, Don Marquis, and Rosalind Hursthouse; an essay on the death penalty by Stephen Nathanson; and a debate between John M. Taurek and Derek Parfit on when and why one should save from harm a greater rather than a lesser number of people. The book concludes with an essay by Judith Jarvis Thomson on the trolley problem. Wherever possible, each reading is printed in its entirety. (shrink)
From the historical roots of second-wave feminism to current debates about feministtheory and politics. This introduction to Anglo-American feminist thought provides a critical and panoramic survey of dominant trends in feminism since 1968. Feminism is too often considered a monolithic movement, consisting of an enormous range of women and ideologies, with both similar and different perspectives and approaches. The book is divided into two parts, the first of which takes a close look at the most influential (...) strands of feminism: liberal feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, radical feminism, lesbian feminism, and black feminism. In later chapters, Whelehan ties these complexities of, and conflicts within, feminism. The role and relationship of men to feminism, and feminism's often thorny relationship to postmodernism, are also the subject of chapter length treatment. Concluding with a provocative discussion of the much-heralded advent of post-feminism and the rise of the new feminist superstars such as Camille Paglia, Naomi Wolf, Susan Faludi, and Katie Roiphe, Modern Feminist thought is an ideal text for students and a book no feminist teacher or activist should be without. (shrink)
: The history of modern feminist political theories is often framed in terms of the already existing theories of a number of radical nineteenth-century men philosophers such as James Mill, John Stuart Mill, Charles Fourier, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels. My argument takes issue with this way of framing feminist political theory by demonstrating that it rests on a derivation that remains squarely within the logic of malestream political theory. Each of these philosophers made use (...) of a particular discursive trope that linked the idea of women's emancipation with the idea of social progress. I argue that this trope reproduced the masculinist signification and symbolism inherent in their particular political philosophies. I argue for a more positive, less masculinist, account of the history of feminist political thought. (shrink)
The history of modern feminist political theories is often framed in terms of the already existing theories of a number of radical nineteenth-century men philosophers such as James Mill, John Stuart Mill, Charles Fourier, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engles. My argument takes issue with this way of framing feminist political theory by demonstrating that it rests on a derivation that remains squarely within the logic of malestream political theory. Each of these philosophers made use of (...) a particular discursive trope that linked the idea of women's emancipation with the idea of social progress. I argue that this trope reproduced the masculinist signification and symbolism inherent in their particular political philosophies. I argue for a more positive, less masculinist, account of the history of feminist political thought. (shrink)
In order to recuperate these two representatives of medieval frauenlieder, The Wife’s Lament and Wulf and Eadwacer, a feminist poetics must acknowledge the medieval attitudes toward authority and authorship that allow the medievalist to privilege the voice of the text over the historical author or implied author. The modern concept of authorship, derived from a modern concept of the text as private property, valorizes the signature of the author and the author’s presumed control over and legal responsibility for his (...) or her text. With reference to modern literature, contemporary theory has interrogated this “author-function” quite aggressively in an attempt to pry the text away from the author and to valorize the functions of the reader, as Roland Barthes’s “Death of the Author” illustrates,13 or to reconsider the privileges of the subject, in order to “seize its functions, its interventions in discourse, and its system of dependencies,” as Michel Foucault’s essay “What Is an Author?” propoes.14 Foucault’s proposals concerning the place of the subject and the author-function directly challenge modern assumptions about the text as the property of an author: “We can easily imagine a culture where discourse would circulate without any need for an author. Discourses, whatever their status, form, or value, regardless of our manner of handling them, would unfold in a pervasive anonymity.”15 13. See Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” Image, Music, Text, trans. Stephen Heath , pp. 142-48.14. Michel Foucault, “What Is an Author?” Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon, ed. Bouchard , p. 137.15. Ibid., p. 138. Indeed, Foucault does press his argument to the limits of its implications for the subject, and he ends his essay with a question that challenges the voice of a text as well as its author: “‘What Matter who’s speaking?’” . Nancy K. Miller engages directly in the implications of this position for feministtheory. She states: “What matter who’s speaking? I would answer it matters, for example, to women who have lost and still routinely lose their proper name in marriage, and whose signature—not merely their voice—has not been worth the paper it was written on” . Marilynn Desmond is an assistant professor of English, general literature, and rhetoric at the State University of New York—Binghamton. She is the author of Reading Dido: Textuality and Sexuality in the Late Medieval Reception of Aeneid 4 ; her current work is a study of ekphrasis in late medieval literature. (shrink)
A book of tremendous influence when it first appeared, A Mind of One's Own reminded readers that the tradition of Western philosophy-- in particular, the ideals of reason and objectivity-- has come down to us from white males, nearly all of whom are demonstrably sexist, even misogynist. In this second edition, the original authors continue to ask, What are the implications of this fact for contemporary feminists working within this tradition? The second edition pursues this question about the value of (...) reason and objectivity in new directions using the fresh perspectives and diverse viewpoints of the new generation of feminist philosophers. A Mind of One's Own is essential reading and an essential reference for philosophers and for all scholars and students concerned about the nature of knowledge and our pursuit of it. (shrink)
Having only emerged in the past few decades, Feminist Philosophy is rapidly developing its own thrust in areas of particular importance to feminism-and women more generally-while also reevaluating and reshaping most other fields of philosophy, from ethics to logic and Marxism to environmentalism.
Contemporary feministtheory is at an impasse: the project of reformulating concepts of self and social identity is thwarted by an association between identity and oppression and victimhood. In Sacrificial Logics, Allison Weir proposes a way out of this impasse through a concept of identity which depends on accepting difference. Weir argues that the equation of identity with repression and domination links "relational" feminists like Nancy Chodorow, who equate self-identity with the repression of connection to others, and poststructuralist (...) feminists like Judith Butler, who view any identity as a repression of nonidentity and difference. Through readings of Chodorow, Butler, Jessica Benjamin, Luce Irigaray, Jacqueline Rose and Julia Kristeva, Weir analyzes the relation of theories of self-identity to theories of women's identity, social identity, the identity of meaning in language and feminist solidarity. Drawing particularly on the work of Julia Kristeva, she argues for a reformulation of self-identity as a capacity to participate in a social world, and sketches a model of a self-identity which depends on a capacity to accept nonidentity, difference and connections to others. (shrink)
In the past decade the central principles of western feministtheory 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 (...)feministtheory, 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)
Power is clearly a crucial concept for feministtheory. 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 FeministTheory," 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)
This paper argues that Hannah Arendt's political theory offers key insights into the power that binds together the feminist movement - the power of solidarity. Second-wave feminist notions of solidarity were grounded in notions of shared identity; in recent years, as such conceptions of shared identity have come under attack for being exclusionary and repressive, feminists have been urged to give up the idea of solidarity altogether. However, the choice between (repressive) identity and (fragmented) non-identity is a (...) false opposition, and the Arendtian account of solidarity developed here allows us to move beyond this opposition. Thus, Arendt provides us with a model of solidarity that can stand a post-identity politics feministtheory in good stead. (shrink)
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feministtheory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, (...) and intellectually daring, the Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This authoritative and lively exploration of the theories of contemporary feminism covers all the major variants of feminist political thought from the "traditional" schools of the women's movement-particularly radical, liberal, and socialist-to today's postmodern texts. FeministTheory Today examines the epistemological challenge from critical legal theory and postmodernist thought; the divergences within, as well as between, feminist schools; and the protests from women marginalized by the feminist movement, including those who are lesbian and those (...) who are black. It also interrogates the dialectic equality and difference and reconceptualizes this pervasive tenet of feminist thought. Author Judith Evans documents the changes in socialist feminism from its revolutionary origins to its current focus on modifying liberal democratic forms. Students and teachers of women's studies, sociology, and political theory will find this an authoritative and lively exploration of the theories of contemporary feminism. It is also essential reading for anyone seeking to understand why the women's movement is as it is today. (shrink)
This set reprints a wide range of key articles exploring the role of feminists in the development of post-Enlightenment thought. Including groundbreaking work from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, with pieces by Sandra Harding, Julia Kristeva, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elizabeth Spelman, and other internationally-esteemed scholars, the collection features an original introduction and comprehensive index, making this an invaluable resource for women's studies students in a wide range of subject areas. For a full listing of contents, visit www.routledge-ny.com and type the (...) isbn into the search engine. (shrink)
So what is feminism anyway? Why are all the experts so reluctant to give us a clear definition? Is it possible to make sense of the complex and often contradictory debates? In this concise and accessible introduction to feministtheory, Chris Beasley provides clear explanations of the many types of feminism. She outlines the development of liberal, radical and Marxist//socialist feminism, and reviews the more contemporary influences of psychoanalysis, postmodernism, theories of the body, queer theory, and attends (...) to the ongoing significance of race and ethnicity. Given the diversity of feminist ideas, Chris Beasley a number of ways of looking at feministtheory and offer an open-ended approach which allows for variety and change. What is Feminism? is a clear and up-to-date guide to Western feministtheory for students, their teachers, researchers and anyone else who wants to understand and engage in current feminist debates. `Over the last three decades feminist theories and methodologies have become an increasingly complex as well as somewhat fraught terrain where ideas and egos alternately clash productively and destructively. This is an up-to-date and intelligent introduction to a field which remains a vital component of contemporary sociopolitical issues and debates' - Sneja Gunew, Professor of English and Women’s Studies, University of British Columbia. (shrink)
Reading feministtheory as a complex imaginative achievement, Feminist Imagination considers feminist commitment through the interrogation of its philosophical, political and affective connections with the past, and especially with the `race' trials of the twentieth century. The book looks at: the 'directionlessness' of contemporary feminist thought; the question of essentialism and embodiment; the racial tensions in the work of Simone de Beauvoir; the totalitarian character in Hannah Arendt; the 'mimetic Jew' and the concept of mimesis (...) in the work of Judith Butler. Vikki Bell provides a compelling rethinking of feministtheory as bound up with attempts to understand oppression outside a focus on 'women'. She affirms feminism as a site and mode of making these connections. What emerges is a profound work brimming with insight that will be required reading for anyone who is seriously interested in feministtheory and, more generally, contemporary social theory. (shrink)
This volume collects many of the major essays of feministtheory of the past forty years. The essays included here are those which have made key contributions to feministtheory during this period and which have generated extensive discussion. The volume organizes these essays historically, so as to provide a sense of the major turning points in feministtheory. Beginning with those essays which have provoked widespread discussion in the early days of the second (...) wave, the volume then presents essays which have been central to major discussions since that time. The essays present the complex relationship between feminism and Marxism, the second wave's "gynocentric turn," the theoretical elaboration of differences among women, and the essentialist debate, as these have occupied the attention of feminist theorists. Through this collection, the reader is able to gain a sense of the diverse directions feministtheory has taken over the past forty years, where feministtheory stands at the moment, and the questions which are just now beginning to emerge. (shrink)
What makes feministtheoryfeminist? How did so many different feminisms come to exist? In Fundamental Feminism, Judith Grant addresses these questions by offering a critical exploration of the evolution of feministtheory and the state of feminist thinking today. Grant provides a lively assessment of the major problems of contemporary feminist thought and identifies a set of common assumptions that link the wide variety of feminist theories in existence. Fundamental Feminism calls (...) for nothing less than a substantial revision of the core concepts responsible for shaping feministtheory as we now know it. Grant identifies and critiques three core concepts of feministtheory--"woman," "experience," and "personal politics"--from their origins in pamphlets and writings from the early women's liberation movement to their current construction in feminist thought. She then connects a number of major debates in feminism today to the longstanding influence of these core assumptions. These debates include the hegemony of the white female perspective, the tension between anti-pornography and pro-sex feminists, and the discussions surrounding the challenges presented by postmodernism. Grant gives readers valuable insight into the dilemma facing feministtheory today. Fundamental Feminism is a thorough and provocative analysis that will be essential reading for anyone interested in the future of feministtheory and the power of feminist politics. (shrink)
This article analyzes the innovations produced by the concept of experience, introduced from the feministtheory during the eighties. The experience was an epistemic invention to give account of what used to result exceeding, subsidiary, or invisible to the science legitimated as such. This theoretical-methodological tool led to redefinitions around the sense of objectivity and pointed out the political condition of a perspective that was declared as neutral. This work tries to throw some light over the critical strength (...) that this epistemic tool had during those years, for which it chooses the historical perspective. At the same time, this article advances towards a critical analysis around certain modelling of the tool. In this sense, the article aims to sharpen the epistemic surveillance and to review the commitments that this has been acquiring with the institutionalization of the feminist perspective during the last decades. El presente artículo analiza las innovaciones que produjo en el campo del conocimiento la herramienta de la experiencia, introducida desde la teoría feminista en los años ochenta. La experiencia fue una invención epistémica que tuvo como objetivo dar cuenta de aquello que resultaba excedente, subsidiario o invisible a la ciencia legitimada como tal. Este instrumental teórico-metodológico conllevó redefiniciones en torno al sentido de la objetividad y señaló la condición política de una perspectiva declarada neutral. El presente trabajo apunta a alumbrar la potencia crítica que dicha herramienta epistémica tuvo en aquellos años, para lo cual elige la perspectiva histórica. Asimismo, el artículo avanza en un análisis crítico en torno a ciertas modelizaciones contemporáneas de dicha herramienta. En este sentido, el artículo aspira a agudizar la vigilancia epistémica y a revisar los compromisos que ha ido adquiriendo con la institucionalización de la perspectiva feminista de las últimas décadas. (shrink)