Pragmatism, Feminism, and Democracy: Rethinking the Politics of American History

By James Livingston | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

This book got started, more or less inadvertently, as I was finishing the last one. I was then noticing that pragmatists and feminists asked similar questions about the sources of the self, the uses of epistemology, and the embodiments of knowledge. So I designed an undergraduate seminar that examined the historical and theoretical intersections of pragmatism and feminism in the twentieth century. That was back in the amazing winter of 1994. The seminar was great fun, and it taught me a great deal-much more than I bargained for. My originary debts are to its members, and particularly to four students who later wrote honors theses that emerged from their research in the seminar: Robert Genter, Venita Jethwani, Andrew Kessler, and Barbara Schweiger.

As usual, my principal debts are to my friends from the Rutgers English department, John McClure and Bruce Robbins, who are always willing to disagree with me. I've learned more from my endless arguments with them than from anything I've ever read. Other members of the English department who have given me good advice and valuable comments are Richard Poirier, Marc Manganaro, Elin Diamond, Richard Dienst, Kurt Spellmeyer, and Harriet Davidson. In my own department, Mia Bay, Paul Clemens, Belinda Davis, Nancy Hewitt, Jackson Lears, Jan Lewis, Jennifer Morgan, James Reed, and Bonnie Smith have helped me by reading, discussing, and criticizing chapters in draft. So have several graduate students in history at Rutgers. My thanks to Rosanne Currarino, Andrea Volpe, David Nack, J. Allen Douglas, Rob Nelson, Jennifer Pettit, April de Stefano, Christopher Fisher, Brian Connolly, Curt Cardwell, and Sarah Gordon for stimulating conversation or useful comments, and to the “Gang of Four”-Gary Darden, Sara Dubow, Justin Hart,

-ix-

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