Feminist Imagination: Genealogies in Feminist Theory

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Vikki Bell

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  • Theory, Culture & Society

    Theory, Culture & Society caters for the resurgence of interest in culture within contemporary social science and the humanities. Building on the heritage of classical social theory, the book series examines ways in which this tradition has been reshaped by a new generation of theorists. It also publishes theoretically informed analyses of everyday life, popular culture, and new intellectual movements.

    EDITOR: Mike Featherstone, Nottingham Trent University

    SERIES EDITORIAL BOARD

    Roy Boyne, University of Durham

    Mike Hepworth, University of Aberdeen

    Scott Lash, Goldsmiths College, University of London

    Roland Robertson, University of Pittsburgh

    Bryan S. Turner, University of Cambridge

    THE TCS CENTRE

    The Theory, Culture & Society book series, the journals Theory, Culture & Society and Body & Society, and related conference, seminar and postgraduate programmes operate from the TCS Centre at Nottingham Trent University. For further details of the TCS Centre's activities please contact:

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    Recent volumes include:

    Radical Conservatism and the Future of Politics

    Göran Dahl

    Spaces of Culture

    Mike Featherstone and Scott Lash

    Love and Eroticism

    edited by Mike Featherstone

    Polar Inertia

    Paul Virilio

    Performativity and Belonging

    edited by Vikki Bell

    Copyright

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    Acknowledgements

    The publication of this work owes much to the encouragement of the Theory, Culture & Society team, and I am especially grateful to Scott Lash and Mike Featherstone for their initial invitation, and to Stephen Barr of Sage.

    I am indebted in many ways to Paul Gilroy, who has co-designed and co-taught several of the courses within which I explored these ideas, but whose generosity has exceeded that role. His thought is truly ‘without banisters’, as Hannah Arendt put it; and I hope he will see his influence and encouragement reflected in this book. Les Back's work has lived and blossomed across the hall from mine, and I have been delighted to have had the experience of his accompaniment on various – theoretical, personal and musical – journeys. I would like to thank Nikolas Rose for his work, his friendship and support. The ‘History of the Present’ Network has been a place to discuss issues around the work of Michel Foucault – I am grateful to the group and for the friendship of its members. A big thank you to other colleagues and friends within and outside Goldsmiths College – especially Emilios Christodoulidis, Anne Marie Fortier, Mariam Fraser, Monica Greco, Celia Lury, Maggie O'Neill, Tom Osborne, Colin Perrin, Fran Tonkiss, Vron Ware. My students, graduate and undergraduate, helped me sort out my thoughts more than perhaps they realise.

    Judith Butler lent me her office and her inspiration on my term's sabbatical at the Department of Rhetoric, Berkeley, University of California, and gave me the opportunity to have feedback from the scholars gathered there. I thank in particular Dina AI-Kassim for her friendship and careful reading. My time in San Francisco was made special by the generosity of David Eng and the renewed friendships of Marianne Constable, Kum Kum Bhavnani, and Leti and Serena Volpp; also by Tommy Lott, whose considered thoughts and company were much appreciated. Many thanks are due to Lewis Eichele for becoming my cherished friend and for taping The Simpsons for me, and to David Goldberg who continues to give me trans-Atlantic encouragement and to share his work generously.

    As ever, I thank Sam King – there is no thought without barristers – and Charlotte Pomery, the kindest of friends. Rachel Cottam, Jenny Kent and Pete Jones have been sources of humour and sanity. I acknowledge my family, and especially my nephews: Nathaniel, Vivian, Ashley and Jacob. This book is dedicated to the memory of my granny, Betty Bell, who would have loved to have been able to tease her blue-stocking granddaughter on publication day.

    Paul Kerr came back into my life as if to persuade me to fate and faith; my main distraction and my main source of sustenance, I thank him for his love, affection and creativity. Also to Ella, thanks for intermittently reminding me how far past my delivery date this manuscript was, and other stuff besides.

    None of the above, of course, bears any responsibility for, nor necessarily concords with, the arguments posited here; these are mine alone.

    VikkiBellLondon
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