I believe that the return of feminism in its market-driven forms in the twenty-first century should be addressed with suspicion and even critical hostility. However, what should be embraced, debated, and given as much cultural space as possible, is the history of feminism and the renewed parafeminist impulse to extend the most important impulses of the feminisms of the 1960s while rejecting the binarism and tendency towards universalism within these earlier feminisms. We must honor the achievements of our earlier feminisms even as we remake some of their most important strategies in ways that are effective to the new ways in which power functions today.
Amelia Jones is Professor and Pilkington Chair in Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester. She has organized exhibitions on feminism and contemporary art, has co-edited the anthology Performing the Body/Performing the Text (1999), and edited the volumes Feminism and Visual Culture Reader (2003) and A Companion to Art Since 1945 (2006). Following on her Body Art/Performing the Subject (1998), Jones’s recent books include Irrational Modernism: A Neurasthenic History of New York Dada (2004) and Self Image: Technology, Representation, and the Contemporary Subject (2007). Her current projects are a co-edited volume Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History and a book tentatively entitled Identity and the Visual.