by Elizabeth Grosz
Recently the distinguished feminist theorist Elizabeth Grosz has turned her critical acumen toward rethinking time and duration. Time Travels brings her trailblazing essays together to show how reconceptualizing temporality transforms and revitalizes key scholarly and political projects. In these essays, Grosz demonstrates how imagining different relations between the past, present, and future alters understandings of social and scientific projects ranging from theories of justice to evolutionary biology, and she explores the radical implications of the reordering of these projects for feminist, queer, and critical race theories.
Grosz’s reflections on how rethinking time might generate new understandings of nature, culture, subjectivity, and politics are wide ranging. She moves from a compelling argument that Charles Darwin’s notion of biological and cultural evolution can potentially benefit feminist, queer, and antiracist agendas to an exploration of modern jurisprudence’s reliance on the notion that justice is only immanent in the future and thus is always beyond reach. She examines Henri Bergson’s philosophy of duration in light of the writings of Gilles Deleuze, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and William James, and she discusses issues of sexual difference, identity, pleasure, and desire in relation to the thought of Deleuze, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Luce Irigaray. Together these essays demonstrate the broad scope and applicability of Grosz’s thinking about time as an undertheorized but uniquely productive force.