This encyclopedia entry focuses primarily on Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s theoretical contributions, but also discusses how through her activism, intersectionality – as a framework or an analytic sensibility for making visible the sociolegal invisibility of women of color (and multiply oppressed social groups more generally) – has become praxis, revealing how Black women and other women of color fall “through the cracks” of mutually exclusive anti-racist and feminist discourses or, rather, are pushed into the chasm produced by their respective (...) uninterrogated sexisms and racisms. The brutal paradox that Crenshaw’s oeuvre reveals is that those who are violently located in the basements of social hierarchies, where others make their ascents on their backs, are also those whom emancipatory discourses consistently fail, rendering them marginal in their representations and mobilizations while relying on their creative energies, redirecting them from serving their own immediate interests to advancing those of others with which their experiences only partly coincide. Yet, this representational and epistemic violence undermines transformative movements from within, since it is only by addressing all systems of oppression simultaneously, and by disarticulating their interconnections, that they can ever be dismantled. (shrink)
Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw ends her landmark essay “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color” with a normative claim about coalitions. She suggests that we should reconceptualize identity groups as “in fact coalitions,” or at least as “potential coalitions waiting to be formed.” In this essay, I explore this largely overlooked claim by combining philosophical analysis with archival research I conducted at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society Archive in San Francisco about (...) Somos Hermanas, the solidarity project of the Alliance Against Women’s Oppression, based in the San Francisco Women’s Building (1984–90). I extend my analysis into the present by drawing on the oral history and published works of Carmen Vázquez, a key organizer in both Somos Hermanas and the Women’s Building. I argue that conceptualizing identities as in fact coalitions—as complex, internally heterogeneous unities constituted by their internal differences and dissonances and by internal as well as external relations of power—enables us to organize effective political coalitions that cross existing identity categories and to pursue a liberatory politics of interconnection. (shrink)
This book intervenes in the field of intersectionality studies: the integrative examination of the effects of racial, gendered, and class power on people’s lives. While “intersectionality” circulates as a buzzword, Anna Carastathis joins other critical voices to urge a more careful reading. Challenging the narratives of arrival that surround it, Carastathis argues that intersectionality is a horizon, illuminating ways of thinking that have yet to be realized; consequently, calls to “go beyond” intersectionality are premature. A provisional interpretation of intersectionality can (...) disorient habits of essentialism, categorial purity, and prototypicality and overcome dynamics of segregation and subordination in political movements. -/- Through a close reading of critical race theorist Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s germinal texts, published more than twenty-five years ago, Carastathis urges analytic clarity, contextual rigor, and a politicized, historicized understanding of this widely traveling concept. Intersectionality’s roots in social justice movements and critical intellectual projects—specifically Black feminism—must be retraced and synthesized with a decolonial analysis so its radical potential to actualize coalitions can be enacted. (shrink)
In feminist theory, intersectionality has become the predominant way of conceptualizing the relation between systems of oppression which construct our multiple identities and our social locations in hierarchies of power and privilege. The aim of this essay is to clarify the origins of intersectionality as a metaphor, and its theorization as a provisional concept in Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw’s work, followed by its uptake and mainstreaming as a paradigm by feminist theorists in a period marked by its widespread and (...) rather unquestioned--if, at times, superficial and inattentive--usage. I adduce four analytic benefits of intersectionality as a research paradigm: simultaneity, complexity, irreducibility and inclusivity. Then, I gesture at, and respond to some critiques of intersectionality advanced in the last few years, during which the concept has increasingly come under scrutiny. (shrink)
Smoke and Mirrors is a passionate, richly nuanced work that shows television as a circus, a wishing well, and a cure for loneliness. Ranging from Ed Sullivan to cyberspace, from kid shows to cable, and from the cheap thrills of "action adventure" to the solemn boredom of PBS pledge week, Leonard argues for a whole new way of thinking about television. For Leonard, the situation comedy is a socializing agency, the talk show is a legitimating agency, the made-for-television movie is (...) the last redoubt of social conscience, and television criticism itself is the last refuge of time-serving thugs and postmodernists. Instead of scapegoating television as the cause of crime in our streets, stupidity in our schools, and spectacle rather than substance in our government, Leonard sees something else inside the box: an echo chamber and a feedback loop, a medium neither wholly innocent of nor entirely responsible for the frantic disorder it brings into our homes. (shrink)
This chapter examines María Lugones’s germane and insightful attempt to theorize “intermeshed oppressions,” which, she argues, have been (mis)represented in women of color feminisms by the concepts of “interlocking systems of oppression” and, more recently, “intersectionality.” The latter, intersectionality, introduced by Black feminist legal scholar Kimberlé WilliamsCrenshaw as a metaphor (1989) and as a “provisional concept” (1991), has become the predominant way of referencing the mutual constitution of what have been theorized as multiple systems of oppression, constructing (...) the multiplicity of social identities. But Lugones’s analysis, which maintains subtle but important distinctions among the concepts of “intermeshed,” “interlocking,” and “intersecting” oppressions, shows that intersectionality theory often conflates fragmentation with multiplicity, and—by reifying “intersectional identities”—reproduces social-ontological fragmentation at the political and perceptual-cognitive levels of representation. Intersectional accounts redeploy unitary categories (for instance, race, gender, class, sexuality, disability) that are defined to the exclusion of each other by privileging the identities of normative group members. Consequently, they remain within what Lugones calls the “logic of purity,” which erases “curdled,” impure, category-transgressive, border-dwelling, mestiza subjects. Although, according to Lugones, intersectionality enables us to discern how the logic of purity produces “women of color” as impossible beings, she argues that the liminal identities of subjects dwelling in categorial interstices can only be made visible by conceptualizing oppressions as fused or “intermeshed.” However, as I interpret her, Lugones is not merely criticizing intersectionality or seeking to transcend its conceptual limitations by proposing an alternate concept. Rather, the concepts of “intermeshed,” “interlocking,” and “intersecting” oppressions do significantly different work in her account and illuminate different aspects of the social ontology, phenomenology, and epistemology of resistance to oppression. First, I situate Lugones with respect to the current conjuncture in intersectionality studies, in which some scholars are calling for a post-intersectional turn. Then, I reconstruct Lugones’s complex account of intermeshed oppressions, interlocking oppressions, and intersectionality. Finally, I discuss the status of intersectionality in the shift in Lugones’s work from “women of color feminisms” to “decolonial feminism.” Intersectionality is now routinely invoked as a representational theory of multiple identities, but Lugones’s heterodox interpretation helps us to see that it is best understood as a critique of representations based on the logic of purity: specifically, of how categorial axes of oppression (mis)represent intermeshed oppressions. Lugones’s triadic distinction (intersecting/interlocking/intermeshed) points toward a provisional usage of intersectionality, namely, to diagnose the fragmentation of social experiences of multiplicity (which, I would argue, is more consistent with the concept’s original aims). In her visionary philosophy, which attempts to theorize resistance against the grain of fragmentation from a conceptual space outside of the “logic of purity,” we find “glimpses” of a non-fragmented account of oppression, and praxical possibilities for liberatory, decolonial feminist coalitions. (shrink)
Taking up Kimberlé Crenshaw's conclusion that black feminist theorists seem to continue to find themselves in many ways “speaking into the void” (Crenshaw 2011, 228), even as their works are widely celebrated, I examine intersectionality critiques as one site where power asymmetries and dominant imaginaries converge in the act of interpretation (or cooptation) of intersectionality. That is, despite its current “status,” intersectionality also faces epistemic intransigence in the ways in which it is read and applied. My aim is (...) not to suggest that intersectionality cannot (or should not) be critiqued, nor do I maintain that celebratory applications/interpretations are immune from epistemic distortion when it comes to interpreting intersectionality. Rather, my goal is to demonstrate that critiques of intersectionality are one important site to examine hermeneutic marginalization and interpretive violence; the politics of citation; and the impact of dominant expectations or established social imaginaries on meaning-making. In so doing, I aim to consider more fully how entrenched ways of thinking are frequently relied upon to interpret and critique intersectionality, even as these are often the very frameworks that intersectionality theorists have identified as highly problematic tools of misrepresentation, erasure, and violation. This slippage away from intersectionality's outlooks, whether in critical or laudatory contexts, is a pivotal site of epistemic negotiation we must examine more closely. (shrink)
The term intersectionality, which is generally attributed to Kimberlé Crenshaw, began as a metaphorical and conceptual tool used to highlight the inability of a single-axis framework to capture the lived experiences of black women. Whilst many disciplines have used the ‘tools’ of intersectionality before 1989, modern day usage of the term is usually associated with Crenshaw’s specific approach. The development of Crenshaw’s intersectionality, originated from the failure of both feminist and anti-racist discourse; to represent and capture the (...) specificity of the discrimination faced by black women. This failure resulted from an inability to identify the multiple grounds which constitute an... (shrink)
In this article I caution that María Lugones's critiques of Kimberlé Crenshaw's intersectional theory posit a dangerous form of epistemic erasure, which underlies Lugones's decolonial methodology. This essay serves as a critical engagement with Lugones's essay “Radical Multiculturalism and Women of Color Feminisms” in order to uncover the decolonial lens within Crenshaw's theory of intersectionality. In her assertion that intersectionality is a “white bourgeois feminism colluding with the oppression of Women of Color,” Lugones precludes any possibility of intersectionality (...) operating as a decolonial method. Although Lugones states that her “decolonial feminism” is for all women of color, it ultimately excludes Black women, particularly with her misconstruing of Crenshaw's articulation of intersectionality that is rooted within the Black American feminist tradition. I explore Lugones's claims by juxtaposing her rendering of intersectionality with Crenshaw's and conclude that Lugones's decolonial theory risks erasing Black women from her framework. (shrink)
In this paper, I revisit Kimberlé Crenshaw's argument in “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” (1989) to recover a companion metaphor that has been largely forgotten in the “mainstreaming” of intersectionality in (white-dominated) feminist theory. In addition to the now-famous intersection metaphor, Crenshaw offers the basement metaphor to show how—by privileging monistic, mutually exclusive, and analogically constituted categories of “race” and “sex” tethered, respectively, to masculinity and whiteness—antidiscrimination law functions to reproduce social hierarchy, rather than to remedy (...) it, denying Black women plaintiffs legal redress. I argue that in leaving the basement behind, deployments of “intersectionality” that deracinate the concept from its origins in Black feminist thought also occlude Crenshaw's account of the socio-legal reproduction of hierarchical power. (shrink)
Intersectionality is a travelling theory; now enjoying significant contemporary visibility and popularity in the feminist blogosphere, it has moved across disciplines and borders in ways that are quite distinct from the scholarly critique developed by Kimberlé Crenshaw some time ago. In this article, I consider how intersectionality is translated, and retheorised, as an intertwined set of everyday knowledges and associated governmental practices that both echo and diverge from some of the complexities and politics of its wide-ranging scholarly uptake. Drawing (...) on interviews with self-identifying feminists in a pilot project mapping contemporary Australian digital feminisms, this article explores two overarching patterns in intersectionality’s mobilisation. First, the shift to understanding intersectionality as an everyday conceptual grid plotting women’s differences along one axis, and measuring relative privilege and disadvantage on the other, recentring whiteness and liberal multicultural models of diversity and inclusion. Second, the transformation of intersectionality into an abstract, individualistic model of conduct, involving the citation and classification of ‘white feminist’ behaviour elsewhere, in frequent judgments on US celebrity culture. As such, intersectionality, while seemingly popular, often remained curiously ‘theoretical’ and divorced from embodied, everyday practices. I suggest in what follows that such a model of intersectionality raises questions of the commercial, racialised, political and mediated conditions that shape the theory’s visibility and materialisation. (shrink)
What role should rights play in feminist politics and the quest for equality? This article examines Wendy Brown's response to that question in her 'suffering rights as paradoxes' and shows that for all its merits, it draws our attention away from the central question of how to describe women's interests, given the many differences amongst women.
The general scholarship on armed conflict in Manipur, India, ignores the experiences of women as agents. Feminist scholarship counters this tendency, revealing women's everyday responses to the violence that constrains them. However, this scholarship often fails to be intersectional, and it lauds every instance of women's agency without evaluating it in terms of its ability to build peace. Employing Kimberlé Crenshaw's underused distinction between structural and political intersectionality and Saba Mahmood's concept of agency, I analyze my field research conducted (...) with women's peacebuilding groups in Manipur in 2014 and 2015. Using structural intersectionality, I first describe the qualitatively different experiences of women peacebuilders living at different social locations. Using political intersectionality as a normative tool, I then show that ethnic and religious hierarchies often disrupt women's attempts to build peace. Interethnic peacebuilding groups that rely on gender-based solidarity tend to privilege the experiences of the women coming from the majority ethnic group. Other peacebuilding groups, bound by ethnicity, often distrust and resent women who come from different ethnic enclaves. I argue that women's peacebuilding agency must aim at an inclusive justpeace if it is to succeed. We should evaluate agency, rather than glorifying all instances of women's responses to violence. (shrink)
This collection is a festschrift prepared for Williams on his retirement from the White’s Professorship of Moral Philosophy at Oxford. The topics covered include equality, consistency, comparison between science and ethics, integrity, moral reasons, the moral system, and moral knowledge. Most of the chapters combine exegetical and critical ambitions. With contributions by J. E. J. Altham, Jon Elster, Nicholas Jardine, Ross Harrison, Christopher Hookway, John McDowell, Martin Hollis, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, and Charles Taylor, and replies by Bernard (...) class='Hi'>Williams. (shrink)
This collection of 216 letters offers an accessible, single-volume distillation of the exchange between celebrated brothers William and Henry James. Spanning more than fifty years, their correspondence presents a lively account of the persons, places, and events that affected the Euro-American world from 1861 until the death of William James in August 1910. An engaging introduction by John J. McDermott suggests the significance of the Selected Letters for the study of the entire family.
Recently, the work of philosopher-psychologist William James has undergone something of a renaissance. In this contribution to the trend, William Gavin argues that James's plea for the "reinstatement of the vague" to its proper place in our experience should be regarded as a seminal metaphor for his thought in general. The concept of vagueness applies to areas of human experience not captured by facts that can be scientifically determined nor by ideas that can be formulated in words. In areas as (...) seemingly diverse as psychology, religion, language, and metaphysics, James continually highlights the importance of the ambiguous, the contextual, the pluralistic, or the uncertain over the foundational. Indeed, observes the author, only in a vague unfinished world can the human self, fragile as it is, have the possibility of making a difference or exercising the will to believe. Taking James's plea seriously, Gavin traces the idea of the vague beyond the philosopher's own texts. In "conversations" with other philosophers--including Peirce, Marx, Dewey, and, to a lesser extent, Rorty and Derrida--the author shows that a version of James's position is central to their thought. Finally, Gavin looks for the pragmatic upshot of James's plea, reaffirming the importance of the vague in two concrete areas: the doctor-patient relationship in medicine and the creation and experiencing of modern art. In conclusion, Gavin argues that James's work is itself vague, in a positive sense, and that as such it functions as a "spur" to the reader. (shrink)
William E. Connolly’s writings have pushed the leading edge of political theory, first in North America and then in Europe as well, for more than two decades now. This book draws on his numerous influential books and articles to provide a coherent and comprehensive overview of his significant contribution to the field of political theory. The book focuses in particular on three key areas of his thinking: Democracy: his work in democratic theory - through his critical challenges to the traditions (...) of Rawlsian theories of justice and Habermasian theories of deliberative democracy - has spurred the creation of a fertile and powerful new literature Pluralism - Connolly's work utterly transformed the terrain of the field by helping to resignify pluralism: from a conservative theory of order based on the status quo into a radical theory of democratic contestation based on a progressive political vision The Terms of Political Theory - Connolly has changed the language in which Anglo-American political theory is spoken, and entirely shuffled the pack with which political theorists work. (shrink)
A Pluralistic Universe by William James: Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College on the Present Situation in Philosophy. William James, January 11, 1842 - August 26, 1910, was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. Our age is growing philosophical again. Change of tone since 1860. Empiricism and Rationalism defined. The process of Philosophizing: Philosophers choose some part of the world to interpret the whole by. They seek to make it (...) seem less strange. Their temperamental differences. Their systems must be reasoned out. Their tendency to over-technicality. Excess of this in Germany. The type of vision is the important thing in a philosopher. Primitive thought. Spiritualism and Materialism: Spiritualism shows two types. Theism and Pantheism. Theism makes a duality of Man and God, and leaves Man an outsider. Pantheism identifies Man with God. The contemporary tendency is towards Pantheism. Legitimacy of our demand to be essential in the Universe. Pluralism versus Monism: The 'each-form' and the 'all-form' of representing the world. Professor Jacks quoted. Absolute Idealism characterized. Peculiarities of the finite consciousness which the Absolute cannot share. The finite still remains outside of absolute reality. (shrink)
The Williams Report on Obscenity and Film Censorship provoked predictably strong reactions in Britain when it first appeared, both from those who had read it and from those who had not. It is reissued here, in an abridged form, in the belief that it ought to be more widely read and more fully discussed. The practical issues and political principles examined in the Report are certainly of very general and continuing interest, and the report will remain a crucial point (...) of reference for all future public discussion of the subject, whether in Britain or elsewhere. This edition presents all the main findings and arguments of the full report, omitting only the length appendices. There is a preface which explains the background and briefly comments on the reception of the report. (shrink)
The present collection brings together for the first time Rowe's most significant contributions to the philosophy of religion. This diverse but representative selection of Rowe's writings will provide students, professional scholars as well as general readers with stimulating and accessible discussions on such topics as the philosophical theology of Paul Tillich, the problem of evil, divine freedom, arguments for the existence of God, religious experience, life after death, and religious pluralism.
The Historia Novella is a key source for the succession dispute between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda which brought England to civil war in the twelfth century. William of Malmesbury was the doyen of the historians of his day. His account of the main events of the years 1126 to 1142, to some of which he was an eyewitness, is sympathetic to the empress's cause, but not uncritical of her. Edmund King offers a complete revision of K. R. Potter's (...) edition of 1955, retaining only the translation, which has been amended in places. Not only is this a new edition but it offers a new text, arguing that what have earlier been seen as William of Malmesbury's final revisions are not from his hand. Rather they seem to come from somewhere in the circle of Robert of Gloucester, the empress's half-brother, to whom the work is dedicated. In this way the work raises important questions concerning the transmission of medieval texts. (shrink)
William Beveridge was a key figure in the modernization of British economic and social policy who published widely on unemployment and social security. Among his most notable works and reprinted in this set are, _Full Employment in a Free Society _, and _Pillars of Security_. Beveridge’s Report on social insurance was published in 1942. It proposed that all people of working age should pay a weekly national insurance contribution. In return, benefits would be paid to people who were sick, unemployed, (...) retired or widowed. Beveridge included as one of three fundamental assumptions the fact that there would be a National Health Service of some sort. Beveridge's arguments were widely accepted. He argued that welfare institutions would increase the competitiveness of British industry in the post-war period, not only by shifting labour costs like healthcare and pensions onto the public account but also by producing healthier, wealthier and more productive workers. Beveridge saw full employment as the pivot of the social welfare programme he expressed in the 1942 report. As well as making available some of Beveridge’s key, and in some case, lesser known works, this set includes as its final volume an indispensable overview of Beveridge and his prolific work. (shrink)
How do thought and language manage to be 'about' aspects of the world? J. Robert G. Williams investigates how representation arises out of a fundamentally non-representational world, showing the explanatory relations between the representational properties of language, of thought, and of perception and intention.
William of Poitiers began his career as a knight before studying in the schools of Poitiers and entering the Church. He became a chaplain in the household of William the Conqueror, and was able to give a first-hand account of the events of 1066-7. The Gesta Guillelmi, his unfinished biography of the king, is particularly important for its detailed description of William's campaigns in Normandy, the careful preparations he made for the invasion of England, the battle of Hastings and the (...) establishment of Norman power after the Conquest. It is a mine of information of military tactics and the conduct of war in the eleventh century. Though written from the point of view of the Norman court, it gives what is probably the most authentic account of these momentous events. This edition, by the late R. H. C. Davis and Marjorie Chibnall, with facing-page English translation of the Latin text, provides the first complete English translation, as well as a full historical introduction and detailed notes. (shrink)
v. 1. William and Henry, 1861-1884 -- v. 2. William and Henry, 1885-1896 -- v. 3. William and Henry, 1897-1910 -- v. 4. 1856-1877 -- v. 5. 1878-1884 -- v. 6. 1885-1889 -- v. 7. 1890-1894 -- v. 8. 1895-June 1899 -- v. 9. July 1899-1901 -- v. 10. 1902-March 1905 -- v. 11. April 1905-March 1908 -- v. 12. April 1908-August 1910.
Neil E. Williams develops a systematic metaphysics centred on the idea of powers, as a rival to neo-Humeanism, the dominant systematic metaphysics in philosophy today. Williams takes powers to be inherently causal properties and uses them as the foundation of his explanations of causation, persistence, laws, and modality.
Beliefs are freely attributed to God nowadays in Anglo–American philosophical theology. This practice undoubtedly reflects the twentieth–century popularity of the view that knowledge consists of true justified belief . The connection is frequently made explicit. If knowledge is true justified belief then whatever God knows He believes. It would seem that much recent talk of divine beliefs stems from Nelson Pike's widely discussed article, ‘Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action’. In this essay Pike develops a version of the classic argument for (...) the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and free will in terms of divine forebelief. He introduces this shift by premising that ‘ A knows X ’ entails ‘A believes X ’. As a result of all this, philosophers have increasingly been using the concept of belief in defining ‘omniscience’. (shrink)
By the time of his death in 2003, Bernard Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of his generation. Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy is not only widely acknowledged to be his most important book, but also hailed a contemporary classic of moral philosophy. Presenting a sustained critique of moral theory from Kant onwards, Williams reorients ethical theory towards ‘truth, truthfulness and the meaning of an individual life’. He explores and reflects upon the most difficult problems in (...) contemporary philosophy and identifies new ideas about central issues such as relativism, objectivity and the possibility of ethical knowledge. (shrink)
What does it mean to be truthful? What role does truth play in our lives? What do we lose if we reject truthfulness? No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams. Writing with his characteristic combination of passion and elegant simplicity, he explores the value of truth and finds it to be both less and more than we might imagine.Modern culture exhibits two attitudes toward truth: suspicion of being deceived and skepticism that objective truth exists (...) at all. This tension between a demand for truthfulness and the doubt that there is any truth to be found is not an abstract paradox. It has political consequences and signals a danger that our intellectual activities, particularly in the humanities, may tear themselves to pieces.Williams's approach, in the tradition of Nietzsche's genealogy, blends philosophy, history, and a fictional account of how the human concern with truth might have arisen. Without denying that we should worry about the contingency of much that we take for granted, he defends truth as an intellectual objective and a cultural value. He identifies two basic virtues of truth, Accuracy and Sincerity, the first of which aims at finding out the truth and the second at telling it. He describes different psychological and social forms that these virtues have taken and asks what ideas can make best sense of them today. Truth and Truthfulness presents a powerful challenge to the fashionable belief that truth has no value, but equally to the traditional faith that its value guarantees itself. Bernard Williams shows us that when we lose a sense of the value of truth, we lose a lot both politically and personally, and may well lose everything. (shrink)