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Books in the Transformations Series

 

Published in 2010

Feminism, Culture and Embodied Practice The Rhetorics of Comparison

Carolyn Pedwell

Feminism, Culture and Embodied Practice examines how cross cultural comparisons of embodied practices function as a rhetorical device - with particular theoretical, social and political effects - in a range of contemporary feminist texts. It asks: Why and how are cross-cultural links among these practices drawn by feminist theorists and commentators, and what do these analogies do? What knowledges, hierarchies and figurations do these comparisons produce, disrupt and/or reify in feminist theory, and how do such effects resonate within popular culture? Taking a relational web approach that focuses on unravelling the binary threads that link specific embodied practices within a wider representational community, this book highlights how we depend on and affect one another across cultural and geo-political contexts.

 

Published in 2010

Film, Feminism and Melanie Klein: Weird Lullabies

Suzy Gordon

Exploring the encounter between feminism, film theory, and the psychoanalysis of Melanie Klein, this book argues for the importance of 'negativity' as a key concept through which to develop a feminist cultural politics responsive to the violence and pessimism of a new generation of women's films. Revisiting questions of spectatorship and subjectivity, this key text radically rethinks the significance of female destructiveness for feminism and for film theory. It examines the ways that violence shapes cinematic and psychic structures and identifications, presenting the reader with new terms for thinking about film and femininity, feminism and subjectivity. With chapters on films such as The Piano (Jane Campion 1993), Crush (Alison Maclean 1992), and Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier 1996), this book provides a timely intervention into an enduring but controversial area of contemporary feminist theory.

 

 

Published in 2010

Working with Affect in Feminist Readings: Disturbing Differences

Edited by Marianne Liljeström & Susanna Paasonen

Working with Affect in Feminist Readings: Disturbing Differences

Affect has become something of a buzzword in cultural and feminist theory during the past decade. References to affect, emotions and intensities abound, their implications in terms of research practices have often remained less manifest. Working with Affect in Feminist Readings: Disturbing Differences explores the place and function of affect in feminist knowledge production in general and in textual methodology in particular. With an international group of contributors from studies of history, media, philosophy, culture, ethnology, art, literature and religion, the volume investigates affect as the dynamics of reading, as carnal encounters and as possibilities for the production of knowledge. Working with Affect in Feminist Readings asks what exactly are we doing when working with affect, and what kinds of ethical, epistemological and ontological issues this involves. Not limiting itself to descriptive accounts, the volume takes part in establishing new ways of understanding feminist methodology.

 

Published in 2009

Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process Feminist Reflections

Edited by Róisín Ryan-Flood & Rosalind Gill

Secrecy and Silence in the Research Process Feminist Reflections

Feminist research is informed by a history of breaking silences, of demanding that women's voices be heard, recorded and included in wider intellectual genealogies and histories. This has led to an emphasis on voice and speaking out in the research endeavour. Moments of secrecy and silence are less often addressed. This gives rise to a number of questions. What are the silences, secrets, omissions and and political consequences of such moments?  What particular dilemmas and constraints do they represent or entail? What are their implications for research praxis? Are such moments always indicative of voicelessness or powerlessness? Or may they also constitute a productive moment in the research encounter? Contributors to this volume were invited to reflect on these questions. The resulting chapters are a fascinating collection of insights into the research process, making an important contribution to theoretical and empirical debates about epistemology, subjectivity and identity in research. Researchers often face difficult dilemmas about who to represent and how, what to omit and what to include.

 

Published in 2008

Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film

Lindsey Moore

Arab, Muslim, Woman: Voice and Vision in Postcolonial Literature and Film

Lindsey Moore's groundbreaking book demonstrates ways in which women appropriate textual and visual modes of representation, often in cross-fertilizing ways, in challenges to Orientalist/colonialist, nationalist, Islamist, and 'multicultural' paradigms. She provides an accessible but theoretically-informed analysis by foregrounding tropes of vision, visibility and voice; post-nationalist melancholia and mother/daughter narratives; transformations of 'homes and harems'; and border crossings in time, space, language, and media. In doing so, Moore moves beyond notions of speaking or looking 'back' to encompass a diverse feminist poetics and politics and to emphasize ethical forms of representation and reception.

 

 

Published in 2008

Violent Femmes: Women as Spies in Popular Culture

Rosie White

Violent Femmes: Women as Spies in Popular Culture

The female spy has long exerted a strong grip on the popular imagination. With reference to popular fiction, film and television Violent Femmes examines the figure of the female spy as a nexus of contradictory ideas about femininity, power, sexuality and national identity. Fictional representations of women as spies have recurrently traced the dynamic of women's changing roles in British and American culture. Employing the central trope of women who work as spies, Rosie White examines cultural shifts during the twentieth century regarding the role of women in the professional workplace. Violent Femmes  examines the female spy as a figure in popular discourse which simultaneously conforms to cultural stereotypes and raises questions about women's roles in British and American culture, in terms of gender, sexuality and national identity.

 

 

Published in 2007

Feminist Cultural Studies of Science and Technology

Maureen McNeil

Feminist Cultural Studies of Science and Technology

This first major guide and review of the new field of feminist cultural studies of science and technology provides readers with an accessible introduction to its theories and methods. Documenting and analyzing the recent explosion of research which has appeared under the rubric of 'cultural studies of science and technology' it examines the distinctive features of the 'cultural turn' in science studies and traces the contribution feminist scholarship has made to this development. Interrogating the theoretical and methodological features it evaluates the significance of this distinctive body of research in the context of concern about public attitudes to science and contentious debates about public understanding of and engagement with science.

 

 

Published in 2007

Sexing the Soldier: the politics of gender and the contemporary British Army

Edited by Rachel Woodward & Trish Winter

Sexing the Soldier: the politics of gender and the contemporary British Army

The book takes a critical look at the policies and practices that shape gender relations and identities in the contemporary British army and the political and practical consequences of this. Drawing on original research, this informative volume discusses how being a soldier in the Army in influenced by discourses on gender that promote specific ideas about what men and women are, what they do and what they can be.

Written by two experts in the field of gender and military studies, the book will provide an invaluable resource for students across a range of disciplines such as sociology, media and cultural studies.

 

 

Published in 2006

Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Treshold of the Living Subject

Lorna Weir

Pregnancy, Risk and Biopolitics: On the Treshold of the Living Subject

The book calles attention to the significance of population politics, especially the reduction of infant mortality, for the unsettling of birth as the entry to human status. Weir traces the introduction of a new perinatal threshold into hild welfare and tort law through expert tesimony on fetal risk, sketching the clash at law between the birth and perinatal thresholds of the living subject. The book is a well researched and accessible study of biotics which is of interest to students and researchers in anthropology, health studies, history, legal studies, science studies, sociology and women's studies. Weir's book gives a new feminist approach to pregnancy in advanced modernity focusing on the governance of population. She traces the introduction of the perinatal threshold into child welfare and tort law through expert testimony on foetal risk, sketching the clash at law between the birth and perinatal thresholds of the living subject.

 

Published in 2005

Judging the Image: Art, value, Law

Alison Young

Judging the Image: Art, value, Law

Art, value, law - the links between these three terms mark a history of struggle in the cultural scene. Studies of contemporary culture have thus increasingly turned to the image as central to the production of legitimacy, aesthetics and order. Judging the Image extends the cultural turn in legal and criminological studies by interrogating our responses to the image. This book provides a space to think through problems of ethics, social authority and the legal imagination. Concepts of memory and interpretation, violence and aesthetic, authority and legitimacy are considered in a diverse range of sites, including: * body, performance and regulation, * judgment, censorship and controversial artworks, * graffiti and the aesthetics of public space, * HIV and the art of the disappearing body, * witnessing, ethics and the performance of suffering, * memorial images - art in the wake of disaster.

 

 

Published in 2004

When Women Kill: Questions of agency and Subjectivity

Belinda Morrissey

When Women Kill: Questions of agency and Subjectivity

Why are we so reluctant to believe that women can mean to kill? Based on case-studies from the US, UK and Australia, this book looks at the ways in which female killers are constructed in the media, in law and in feminist discourse almost invariably as victims rather than actors in the crimes they commit. Morrissey argues that by denying the possibility of female agency in crimes of torture, rape and murder, feminist theorists are, with the best of intentions, actually denying women the full freedom to be human. Case studies cover among others the battered wife, Pamela Sainsbury, who garrotted her husband as he slept, the serial killer, Aileen Wournos, who killed seven middle-aged men in Florida between 1989 and 1990, Tracey Wiggington, the so-called "lesbian vampire killer", and Karla Homolka who helped her husband kill two teenage girls in St. Catherines Ontario in 1993.

 

 

Published in 2004

Jacques Lacan and Feminist Epistemology

Kirsten Campbell

Jacques Lacan and Feminist Epistemology

This book outlines a compelling new agenda for feminist theories of identity and social relations. Using Lacanian psychoanalysis with feminist epistemology, the author sets out a groundbreaking psychoanalytic social theory. Campbell's work offers answers to the important contemporary question of how feminism can change the formation of gendered subjectivities and social relations. Drawing on the work of third wave feminists, the book shows how feminism can provide new political models of knowing and disrupt foundational ideas of sexual identity.

Kirsten Campbell engages the reader with an original intepretation of Lacanian psychoanalysis and offers a compelling argument for a fresh commitment to the politics of feminism. Jacques Lacan and Feminist Epistemology will be essential reading for anyone with interests in gender studies, cultural studies, psychoanalytic studies or social and political theory.

 

 

Published in 2004

Women and the Irish Diaspora

Breda Gray

Women and the Irish Diaspora

Women and the Irish Diaspora looks at the changing nature of national and cultural belonging both among women who have left Ireland and those who remain. It identifies new ways of thinking about Irish modernity by looking specifically at women's lives and their experiences of migration and diaspora. Based on original research with Irish women both in Ireland and in England, this book explores how questions of mobility and stasis are recast along gender, class, racial and generational lines. Through analyses of representations of 'the strong Irish mother', migrant women, 'the global Irish family' and celebrity culture, Breda Gray further unravels some of the complex relationships between femininity and Irish modernity(ies).

 

 

Published in 2004

The Rhetorics of Feminism: Readings in contemporary cultural theory and the popular press

Lynne Pearce

The Rhetorics of Feminism: Readings in contemporary cultural theory and the popular press

Is it possible that changes in rhetorical practice could alter not just how thought is expressed but also how it is made? Through a close stylistic and rhetorical analysis of contemporary feminist writing - from the cultural theory of Judith Butler to the popular journalism of Naomi Wolf and Germaine Greer - Lynne Pearce demonstrates how feminist thought is created as well as communicated through the frameworks in which it is presented. This book will be of interest to students and academics alike working in the fields of women's studies, literary and cultural theory, journalism, linguistics and communication studies.

 

 

Published in 2004

Haunted Nations: the colonial dimensions of multiculturalism

Sneja Gunew

Haunted Nations: the colonial dimensions of multiculturalism

Postcolonialism has attracted a large amount of interest in cultural theory, but the adjacent area of multiculturalism has not been scrutinized to quite the same extent. In this innovative new book, Sneja Gunew sets out to interrogate the ways in which the transnational discourse of multiculturalism may be related to the politics of race and indigeneity, grounding her discussion in a variety of national settings and a variety of literary, autobiographical and theoretical texts. Using examples from marginal sites - the 'settler societies' of Australia and Canada - to cast light on the globally dominant discourses of the US and the UK, Gunew analyses the political ambiguities and the pitfalls involved in a discourses of multiculturalism haunted by the opposing spectres of anarchy and assimilation.

 

 

Published in 2003

Class, Self, Culture

Beverley Skeggs

Class, Self, Culture

Class, Self, Culture puts class back on the map in a novel way by taking a new look at how class is made and given value through culture. It shows how different classes become attributed with value, enabling culture to be deployed as a resource and as a form of property, which has both use-value to the person and exchange-value in systems of symbolic and economic exchange.

The book shows how class has not disappeared, but is known and spoken in a myriad of different ways, always working through other categorisations of nation, race, gender and sexuality and across different sites: through popular culture, political rhetoric and academic theory. In particular attention is given to how new forms of personhood are being generated through mechanisms of giving value to culture, and how what we come to know and assume to be a 'self' is always a classed formation.

Analysing four processes: of inscription, institutionalisation, perspective-taking and exchange relationships, it challenges recent debates on reflexivity, risk, rational-action theory, individualisation and mobility, by showing how these are all reliant on fixing some people in place so that others can move.

 

Published in 2001

Thinking Through the Skin

Edited by Sarah Ahmed & Jackie Stacey

Thinking Through the Skin

This exciting new collection engages with and extends the growing feminist literature on lived and imagined embodiment. It argues for consideration of the skin as a site where bodies take form, suggesting that skin is already written upon, as well as being open to re-inscription. Divided into parts on skin encounters, skin surfaces and skin sites, the contributions in the book are informed by psychoanalytical, phenomenological and post-colonial approaches to embodiment, as well as by feminist theory.

Individual contributors consider issues such as: the significance of piercing, tattooing and tanning; the assault of self-harm upon the skin; skin as the site of memory and forgetting; the relationship between human and robotic skins; skin colour; the relation between body painting and the land among the indigenous people of Australia; and the cultural economy of fur in Canada.

 

Published in 2000

Transformations: Thinking Through Feminism

Edited by Sara Ahmed, Jane Kilby and Maureen McNeil, Celia Lury & Beverley Skeggs.

Thinking through feminisms book cover

Provides a thorough reassessment of feminism's place in contemporary life. With contributions from some of the most important current feminist thinkers, Transformations traces both the shifts in thinking that have allowed feminism to arrive at its present point, and the way that feminist agendas have progressed in line with wider social developments. The authors engage with current debates as diverse as globalisation, technoscience, embodiment and performativity, taking feminism in fresh directions, mapping new territory and suggesting alternative possibilities.

 

 

 

Published in 2000

Advertising and Consumer Citizenship

Anne M. Cronin

Advertising and Consumer Citizenship

It is commonly accepted that we live in a society increasingly dominated by consumerism, where what we are is expressed by what we buy, and that advertising is one of the primary means through which we absorb these meanings. In this exciting and provocative study, Anne Cronin uses a close analysis of a variety of print advertising to highlight gender's organising function in the contemporary culture of the image and to explore the articulation between the sexed, classed and racialised construction of the consumer which advertising creates and the figure of the citizen produced by contemporary political discourses of identity and belonging across Europe. This book will be essential reading for all students of consumption, media and the new politics of citizenship.

 

 

Published in 2000

Mothering the Self: Mothers, Daughters, Subjects

Stephanie Lawler

Mothering the Self: Mothers, Daughters, Subjects

The mother-daughter relationship has pre-occupied feminist writers for decades, but typically it has been the daughter's story at centre-stage. Mothering the Self brings together these maternal and daughterly stories through drawing in-depth interviews with women who speak both as mothers and as daughters. This study examines the ways in which these mothers and daughters participate in their understanding of class, gender and race locations, both using and resisting them. The result is a fresh start from which to consider the far-reaching implications of this relationship - not simply for mothers and daughters but in terms of how we understand the shaping of the self and its place within the social world.

 

 

Published in 2000

Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality

Sara Ahmed

Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality

Strange Encounters examines the relationship between strangers, embodiment and community. It challenges the assumptions that the stranger is simply anybody we do not recognise and instead proposes that he or she is socially constructed as somebody we already know. Using feminist and postcolonial theory this book examines the impact of multiculturalism and globalisation on embodiment and community whilst considering the ethical and political implication of its critique for post-colonial feminism.

A diverse range of texts are analysed which produce the figure of 'the stranger', showing that it has alternatively been expelled as the origin of danger - such as in neighbourhood watch, or celebrated as the origin of difference - as in multiculturalism. The author argues that both of these standpoints are problematic as they involve 'stranger fetishism'; they assume that the stranger 'has a life of its own'.

 

 

Published in 2000

Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods

Edited by Tess Cosslett, Celia Lury & Penny Summerfield.

Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods

Autobiography has become a staple of feminist scholarship. This new collection features essays by leading feminist academics from a variety of disciplines on the latest developments in autobiographical studies. The central questions addressed include whether autobiography is a genre, if so what it consists of, and whether it is the produce of an internal urge or of external forms and pressures. Structured around the concepts of genre, intersubjectivity and memory, the book is situated within the tradition of feminist engagements with the autobiographical by a detailed historical introduction. Whilst exemplifying the very different levels of autobiographical activity going on in feminist studies, the contributions chart a movement from autobiographical as a genre to autobiography as cultural practice, and from the analysis of autobiographical texts to a preoccupation with autobiography as method. Feminism and Autobiography will be essential reading for students and academics working in feminist studies across the social sciences and humanities.

 
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