This book is a review of some of the main variations of feminist theorizing since 1970. It charts the ways in which feminist thought has reconfigured the relationship between desire, power and academic discourse. It shows how feminist theorists have profoundly challenged the assumptions of social science, freely crossing disciplinary boundaries and giving shape to a new social criticism concerned not only with sexual difference, but also with the differences of race, class, ethnicity, nationality and sexuality.
In a rereading of Jacques Derrida's writings on Freud, I trace the connections between his treatment of differance and his treatment of technology and unconscious memory. I focus on the challenge which Derrida's writings pose for a certain idea of history, including the history of technological development, and I locate that challenge in Derrida's deconstruction of the opposition of nature and technology, the human and the machine, the virtual and the real, the living and the inert. In proposing that these (...) opposed elements are better thought of as deferrals of each other and that, therefore, neither of the opposed elements can be ontologically privileged, Derrida's writings offer a shift in ontological perspective befitting the age of teletechnology. In all this, Derrida's writings show that Freud's treatment of unconscious memory is still relevant, even while Derrida's writings offer a thought of unconscious memory that goes beyond Freud's, that is to say, goes beyond thought of the unconscious when it is conceived narrowly as a possession of the individual subject. Rather than referring unconscious memory to the individual subject, Derrida returns unconscious memory to thought and its technical substrates. It is in doing so that Derrida's writings propose an ontological shift. (shrink)