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 3: Suffering: Thinking Politics with Simone de Beauvoir and Richard Wright
Suffering: Thinking Politics with Simone de Beauvoir and Richard Wright
[W]here do the historically and culturally specific elements of politicised identity's investments in itself, and especially in its own history of suffering, come into conflict with the need to give up these investments, to engage in something of a Nietzschean ‘forgetting’ of this history, in the pursuit of an emancipatory democratic project?’ (Wendy Brown, 1995: 55)
Wounded Attachment? Feminism and Ressentiment
In this chapter I want to question how we understand the impulse to politics through an examination of the ways in which feminist argument is made and made to ‘work’. In particular, I want to explore the sense in which feminism, as a form of ‘identity politics’ ...