Inventive Feminist Theory: Representation, Materiality and Intensive Time

Coleman, Rebecca. 2014. Inventive Feminist Theory: Representation, Materiality and Intensive Time. Women: A Cultural Review, 25(1), pp. 27-45. ISSN 0957-4042 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article examines key arguments on the relations between bodies and images developed in the context of the discursive turn to consider what light a feminist materialist approach might shed on them. Rather than set the discursive and materialist ‘turns’ in opposition to each other, the author tries to draw connections between different theories of the relations between bodies and images, and unpack how certain feminist concerns are approached from different angles in different historical and intellectual contexts. To do this, the author focuses on the prevalence of images of transformation in contemporary visual culture and analyses them in terms of how both ‘new materialist’ and feminist theories grapple with the worlds they engage with, where change and transformation are seen as key. The author takes up three specific and related points that are currently being debated in feminist materialisms: (1) the concept of representation and, more widely, representational thinking; (2) the concept of causation and an understanding of time as non-linear, intensive and inventive; and (3) the understanding of theory as immanent and inventive. Drawing on insights developed in both the discursive and materialist ‘turns’, the author focuses on how bodies and images are entangled together as material assemblages and, in Barad's terms, how theories are performative of the phenomena they seek to understand. The article concludes by suggesting that such an understanding of theory as inventive might be a way of continuing to ensure the animation of feminism's transformative nature.

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Bodies, images, feminist new materialism, representation, non\-linear time, inventive theory

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May 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Jun 2014 08:14

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:59

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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