Politics with Beauvoir: Freedom in the Encounter
Lori Jo Marso is Doris Zemurray Stone Professor of Modern Literary and Historical Studies and Professor of Political Science at Union College, and the author and editor of several books, including W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender, also published by Duke University Press, and Feminist Thinkers and the Demands of Femininity: The Lives and Work of Intellectual Women.
In Politics with Beauvoir Lori Jo Marso treats Simone de Beauvoir's feminist theory and practice as part of her political theory, arguing that freedom is Beauvoir's central concern and that this is best apprehended through Marso's notion of the encounter. Starting with Beauvoir's political encounters with several of her key contemporaries including Hannah Arendt, Robert Brasillach, Richard Wright, Frantz Fanon, and Violette Leduc, Marso also moves beyond historical context to stage encounters between Beauvoir and others such as Chantal Akerman, Lars von Trier, Rahel Varnhagen, Alison Bechdel, the Marquis de Sade, and Margarethe von Trotta. From intimate to historical, always affective though often fraught and divisive, Beauvoir's encounters, Marso shows, exemplify freedom as a shared, relational, collective practice. Politics with Beauvoir gives us a new Beauvoir and a new way of thinking about politics—as embodied and coalitional.
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