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.

Conclusion: Trauma and Temporality in Genealogical Feminist Critique

Conclusion: Trauma and temporality in genealogical feminist critique

Criticism is no longer going to be practiced in the pursuit of formal structures with universal value, but rather as a historical investigation into the events that have led us to constitute ourselves and recognise ourselves as subjects of what we do, think and say. (Michel Foucault, in Rabinow, 1984: 46)

In this book I have argued that the way in which feminist theory imagines the political landscape is not only a political issue but also a philosophical and an affective concern. I have explored (some of) the ramifications of this argument by seeking to connect the debates that take place under the sign ‘feminism’ with certain political horizons and figures. ...

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