Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Editors' Note

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Editors' Note

Article excerpt

"I do not know how much I differ from other people," Virginia Woolf declares toward the end of her life, in one of her rare autobiographical reflections, "A Sketch of the Past." WoolFs perplexity summarizes the memoirist's dilemma. But it also evokes a central preoccupation of this issue, "The Global & the Intimate." What separates and what connects the lives and stories of women imagined within the capacious borders of the global? The question is always in part a matter of distance and scale, proximity and intensity, as Ellen Rothenberg's cover photographs suggest. Between the image reduced for the front of the journal and expanded for the back cover, our perceptions shift. Our perceptions shift even within the same scene. How are we simultaneously intertwined with one another and made separate through relations of power, of position, of geography and history? Who is doing the looking? Who is being seen? Who decides what to look at-and why? Geraldine Pratt and Victoria Rosner, the guest editors of this issue, reading the cover photograph in their introduction, comment on the power that may inhere in the act of looking itself, even when reading the newspaper: "a gaze that constructs its own superiority, a gaze that magnifies the power of the viewer . . ." But as Marjane Satrapi shows in Persepolis, and many of the other contributors to this issue make clear, there is also power in refusing the gaze that locates one as the other. The other also looks back.

With "The Global & the Intimate," WSQ initiates a practice of coediting across the disciplines we hope will be the model for future issues. …

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