1st Edition

Hope and Feminist Theory

Edited By Rebecca Coleman, Debra Ferreday Copyright 2011
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    Hope is central to marginal politics which speak of desires for equality or simply for a better life. Feminism might be characterised as a politics of hope, a movement underpinned by a utopian drive for equality. This version of hope has been used, for example in Barack Obama’s phrase ‘the audacity of hope’ – a mobilisation of an affirmative politics which nevertheless implies that we are living in hopeless times. Similiarly, in recent years, feminism has seen the production of a prevailing mood of hopelessness around a generational model of progress, which is widely imagined to have ‘failed’. However, as a number of feminist theorists have pointed out, the temporality of feminism cannot be conceived as straightforwardly linear: feminism can only be imagined as having failed if it is understood as a particular set of relations and things.

    This collection grapples with the question of hope: how it figures and structures feminist theory as both a movement towards certain goals, and as inherently hopeful. Questions addressed include: Does hope necessarily imply a fantasy of perfectibility, a progression to a utopian future? Might it also be conceived in other ways: as an attachment?A lure? Does life tend towards hope, happiness, optimism? And, if so, what are the consequences when hope fails? Who decides which hopes are false? What is the cost of giving up hope?

    This book was published as a special issue of the Journal for Cultural Research.

    ‘Introduction: Hope and Feminist Theory’ Rebecca Coleman and Debra Ferreday, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK.

    ‘Toxic Feminism: Hope and Hopelessness after Feminism’ Claire Colebrook, Department of English, Penn State University, USA.

    ‘The "Short Step" from Love to Hypnosis: A Reconsideration of the Stockholm Syndrome’, Celia Jameson, Department of Media and Communications , Goldsmiths College, UK.

    ‘Past and Future Perfect?’ Beauty, Affect and Hope’ Rebecca Coleman and Mónica Moreno Figueroa, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, UK.

    ‘Notes on the Feminist Manifesto: The Strategic Use of Hope’ Felicity Colman, Film and Media, Faculty of Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

    ‘Redefining Hope as Praxis’ Joan Haran, Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (Cesagen), Cardiff University, UK.

    ‘Reading Disorders: Online Suicide and the Death of Hope’ Debra Ferreday.

    ‘Post-Millenial Feminist Theory: Encounters with Humanism, Materialism, Critique, Nature, Biology and Darwin’ Maureen McNeil, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK


    Rebecca Coleman and Debra Ferreday are Lecturers in the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University.