This new book draws together the work of a leading social theorist who has devoted herself to examining the intersection of cultural studies, social theory, feminism, and literary theory.
Imagination in Theory contains both new and published work focusing on Barrett's long-standing interest in cultural questions, and shows how this informs her analysis of current developments in social and feminist theory. The essays challenge disciplinary boundaries, and Barrett uses her background as a specialist in literature to "translate" across the barriers between the humanities and social sciences, raising a number of important - and sometimes controversial - issues.
Taking culture, theory and writing as its themes, the book explores these through work on aesthetics, cultural politics, subjectivity, developments in feminist thought, psychoanalysis, and some new ideas on cultural studies and social theory. The book ends with a strikingly original comparison of the ideas of Virginia Woolf and Michel Foucault which is used to pose questions about the differences and similarities between fiction and theory.
This exciting book will be widely read by students and academics in cultural theory, social theory, feminism and literary theory.
Michele Barrett is Professor of Modern Literary and Cultural Theory at Queen Mary & Westfield College, London.
1. Introduction: Culture, Theory, Writing. 2. Words and Things. 3. Virginia Woolf: Subjectivity and Politics. 4. Aesthetics and Cultural Criticism. 5. Feminism and Cultural Politics. 6. The Concept of 'Difference'. 7. Psychoanalyses and Feminisms. 8. Rethinking the Marxist/Feminist Encounter. 9. Stuart Hall and Cultural Studies. 10. Human Nature. 11. Virginia Woolf Meets Michel Foucault. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index.