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October 1994


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Chrys Ingraham <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 31 Oct 1994 16:19:32 -0500
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From:   ALBANY::INGRAHAM     31-OCT-1994 15:56:38.97
        We are seeking submissions to Materialist Feminism: A Reader,
an anthology of writings by materialist feminists from 1975-1995.
        Materialist feminist work is distinguished by the claim that the
critical perspective of historical materialism is historically necessary
and empowering for feminism's oppositional political project. Materialist
feminism calls for a consideration of the ways divisions of labor, state
power, as well as gendered, racial, national and sexual subjectivities,
bodies, and knowledges are all crucial to social production. While materialist
feminists have made use of postmodern critiques of empiricism to develop
analyses of the role of ideology in women's oppression, they have also
insisted that ideology is only one facet of social life.  This systemic
view--the argument that the materiality of the social consists of divisions
of labor, state power, and ideology--is one of the distinguishing features
of materialist feminist analysis.
        During the 1980s identity politics--often formulated by academics in
terms of social constructionism or the more popular multiculturalism--
has increasingly suppressed systemic analysis, and postmodern cultural
materialism is rapidly replacing more radical social theories.  Materialist
Feminism: A Reader will argue against this retreat to identity and cultural
politics for the ways it keeps invisible the material links among the
explosion of meaning-making practices, the exploitation of women's labor
and the appropriation of women's bodies that continue to undergird the
scramble for profits and state power in late capitalism.
        At the same time the Reader will offer trenchant materialist analysis,
it is also primarily feminist. Efforts to address the relationship between
patriarchy and capitalism have persistently characterized materialist feminist
critique even as the monolithic perspectives of many of these explorations
have been challenged and rethought.  Recent work speaks to the complex
intersection of social structures like patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, whit
   supremacy, and heterosexuality and extends our understanding of their
historically specific and differentiated effects on women's and men's everyday
lives.  We hope the essays in the reader will exemplify a range of positions
on how to address these social totalities as well as nuanced analyses of their
articulated effects in specific social formations.
        The first section of the Reader will provide an archive of essays
that delineate the debates out of which materialist feminism emerged as
well as some of the pressing issues of the eighties.  The second part will
consist of previously unpublished writing.
        We invite contributions to Part II of the Reader from those who
situate their work within the parameters outlined above.  Send proposals,
finished papers (20-30pp) or inquiries to either Rosemary Hennessy, Dept.
of English, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222  Hennessy@albnyvms or
Chrys Ingraham, Sociology and Criminal Justice, Russell Sage College,
Troy, NY 12180  Ingraham@albnyvms by January 15, 1995.