From: ALBANY::INGRAHAM 31-OCT-1994 15:56:38.97 To: INGRAHAM CC: Subj: 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.