episteme issue 7 takes as its thematic ‘uninvited sexualities’, including four long interviews with contemporary thinkers
investigating the relationship of Marxism and feminism today.


issue 7: 'uninvited sexualities'

october 2021


episteme issue 7 takes as its thematic “uninvited sexualities” precisely because sexual difference presents such difficulty. Uninvited, the problem returns; turned away it always comes back to stake its central claims. The initial impetus came from a certain frustration with the limits of the current “social reproduction boom” and the possibilities of other Marxist-feminisms.  To readdress those uninvited sexualities meant bringing in fresh approaches. To this end, we undertook interviews with a wide variety of contemporary thinkers, some well-known feminist theorists, as well as theorists or historians in the Marxist register, who had never before been slotted into “gender critique”: ADACHI Mariko, Jairus BANAJI, Maya GONZALEZ & Jeanne NETON, and Françoise VERGÈS. As a consequence, what you read here are dialogues in which certain topics emerged. The first commonality, not a surprise, was that each invokes historical foundations. The differences among these scholars lies in the detailed effort each respondent makes to perform a theorization of history (what Adachi, for instance, calls “the becoming theoretical of history”).  While Gonzalez, Neton and Vergès take a more historically sociological view, Adachi and Banaji attempt to explain how specific ways of life condition distinctive relations of production, spatially and temporally.  Generally, Marxist theorists and historians seek a globalized perspective both for evidence of current trends and in relation to establishing how generalizations are developed into universal claims.  This is certainly the case with the interviews that follow.  Of particular note, the interviewees have all developed their work in substantially distinctive milieu, call on diverse theoretical traditions, until recently unavailable in a common lingua franca. Already, for example, the psychoanalytic term abjection becomes, in non-psychoanalytic hands, a useful critical term.  All these theoretically informed, historically sensitive works greet uninvited sexualities as they come, inevitably, to represent themselves; perhaps here there is already a substantial arsenal for thought, for another Marxist debate over feminism and sexuality.

— Tani Barlow & Gavin Walker, editors