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Feminist Imagination
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Feminist Imagination
Genealogies in Feminist Theory

  • Vikki Bell - Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK


November 1999 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Reading feminist theory 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 feminist theory 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.

 
Affirming Feminism
 
Phantastic Communities and Dangerous Thinking
Feminist Political Imagination  
 
Suffering
Thinking Politics with Simone de Beauvoir and Richard Wright  
 
Appearance
Thinking Difference in the Political Realm with Hannah Arendt  
 
Mimesis as Cultural Survival
Judith Butler and Anti-Semitism  
 
Essentialism and Embodiment
The Politics Behind the Paranoia  
 
Conclusion
Trauma and Temporality in Genealogical Feminist Critique  

'Vikki Bell's book is both philosophically erudite and politically acute. She is an excellent reader of philosophy and literature alike, uncovering the most crucial cultural presumptions in contemporary political discourse. She moves with great skill through Simone de Beavoir, Hannah Arendt, and Richard Wright, making us rethink some of the most basic philosophical notions that inform our ordinary understanding of politics. Her emphasis on temporality and fantasy will provoke us all to think more radically about where we are and where we think we are going' - Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor, University of California at Berkeley

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