The Most Amazing Lecture

Anyone who has read this column knows that I found Elizabeth Grosz's lecture last year at the Feminist Theory Workshop at Duke University to be one of the most powerful philosophical understandings anywhere of how power and knowledge are transmitted from one generation to the next. It has implications for feminism but also far beyond, for anyone trying to figure out our world, power, knowledge, and for anyone envisioning the future. It's philosophical, not necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but it is a dazzling thinker at her dazzling best. It is an hour, packed with ideas, succinct and clear and passionate. Entitlted, "The Future of Feminist Theory: Dreams for New Knowledges," it dreams of utopic ways that we might begin to understand how a culture's assumptions are embedded in its very gestures, languages, everything, in its chemistry and biology and physics, as well as in its more overt ideologies and philosophies. For any educator, it is a thrilling theory of knowing and knowledge acquisition, of concepts and "the real."  I reread my notes on this lecture about once a month. And then today realized, for the first time since last March when Liz gave this talk, that there is a podcast available on the web courtesy of the Women's Studies Program at Duke. I had the delight of re-watching it today Even with a year of embellishing, thinking about, adding to, building upon this lecture, I found it breathtaking in its expansive scope as an intellectual and philosophical agenda for rethinking some of the basic ideas of ideas.  It was great way to start the New Year. Here's the url: www.duke.edu/womstud/grosz.mov