An early version of the second chapter of this book was published in
2004  in the journal differences under the title “Gut Feminism.” In the
short ac knowledgments at the end of that essay I stated that this was
the final expression of an argument made at greater length in my 2004
book Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body. At the time, if I re-
call correctly, I imagined that the questions of the gut that had emerged
late in the writing of Psychosomatic could be slightly extended, but that
the differences article would bring those issues to a close. That is not
what happened. In 2004 I was at the beginning of a five- year fellowship,
funded by the Australian Research Council, on neurology and femi-
nism. That pro ject wasn’t primarily oriented to questions of the gut, but
as things have turned out, the gut and antidepressants have consumed
all my attention. This book is the outcome of that research. The datum
that 95  percent of the human body’s serotonin can be found in the gut
(something I first stumbled across while writing Psychosomatic) did not
lose its grip on me. Exploiting these kinds of data, this book contains the
best arguments I can currently muster for using the peripheral body
to think psychologically, and for using depressive states to understand
the necessary aggressions of feminist theory and politics. While femi-
nist questions about biology and hostility will continue to be asked, I
believe that I have now finally brought this par ticular, much extended
pro ject to a close.
There are many institutions and colleagues who have sustained me
as I have written. I have been very fortunate to be invited to speak to
a number of informed and animated audiences. Early versions of this
Previous Page Next Page