In this pathbreaking new work, Elizabeth Grosz proposes a theory of becoming in place of the prevailing emphasis on being in social, political and biological discourse. Drawing on evolutionary biology, she explores the effect of time on the organization of matter and the development of biological life. She argues that factoring in the relentless forward movement of time throws new light on the ever-growing complication of social life, and also on political struggle.
Grosz juxtaposes the work of Darwin, Nietzsche and Bergson. Each theorises time as an active phenomenon with specific effects, with a profound impact on understandings of the body in relation to time. She shows how their concepts of life, evolution, and becoming are manifest in the work of Deleuze and Irigaray.
Throughout The Nick of Time, Grosz emphasizes the political and cultural imperative to fundamentally rethink time: the more clearly we understand our temporal location as beings straddling the past and the future without the security of a stable and abiding present, the more transformation becomes conceivable.
Elizabeth Grosz is the author of six previous books including the widely read Volatile Bodies (Allen + Unwin, 1994) and has been nominated for many prizes for her work, including the New South Wales Premier's Award and the James Russell Lowell Prize. Hugely influential in many fields of critical theory, she has taught at (amongst others) the University of Sydney, Monash University, Harvard, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins University. She is currently Professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University in the USA.
'Always one to take on big questions, Grosz wants to shift the attention of feminist and other radical social theory to the natural sciences, in order to ask how the biological induces the cultural and, further, how our immersion in time affects the materiality of living beings. Her characteristically lucid and passionate style engages imagination and intellect equally.'
Susan Sheridan, Professor of Women's Studies, Flinders University