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.
- Chapter 1: Affirming Feminism
- Outline of the Book
- Chapter 2: Phantastic Communities and Dangerous Thinking: Feminist Political Imagination
- Sculpting Feminism
- Feminism and Figures of Finitude
- From the First to the Third Phase with Kristeva: Why So Quarrelsome?
- The Trouble with being Tempted by Nietzsche
- Dangerous Thinking and the Future of Feminism
- Conclusion: So What if We're Phantastic?
- Chapter 3: Suffering: Thinking Politics with Simone de Beauvoir and Richard Wright
- Wounded Attachment? Feminism and Ressentiment
- Beyond Ressentiment: Modes of Connectivity
- Chapter 4: Appearance: Thinking Difference in the Political Realm with Hannah Arendt
- ‘Little Rock’
- Appearing in the Political Realm
- Appearance and Natality
- Difference and/in the Public Realm
- Chapter 5: Mimesis as Cultural Survival: Judith Butler and Anti-Semitism
- Butler, Mimesis and Imitation: Carrying on Gender
- Judaism, Anti-Semitism and Mimesis
- Mimesis in a New Agenda
- Chapter 6: Essentialism and Embodiment: The Politics behind the Paranoia
- Essentialism and Paranoia
- Appealing to the Body: Re-Reading Levinas on the Body and Hitlerism
- Emerging Bodies, Exploding Bodies: The Work of Frantz Fanon
- Embodiment in Feminist Theory
- Chapter 7: Conclusion: Trauma and Temporality in Genealogical Feminist Critique