On Teresa Brennan
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: State University of New York Press
Series: SUNY series in Gender Theory
Alice A. Jardine: I am sincerely grateful to the faculty and staff of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University, and especially to the Chair of WGS, Afsaneh Najmabadi, for their generous support of the memorial conference in Teresa’s honor held at Harvard on May 1, 2004. I am grateful to my co-editors, Shannon Lundeen and Kelly Oliver, for their spirit ...
The essays in this collection are a tribute to the significance of the work of Teresa Brennan. Although the body that she so gracefully and vivaciously inhabited is gone, Teresa Brennan’s intellect, spirit, and energy are very much present in her scholarly work and the engagements with that work in this volume. Throughout her work, from her first book ...
1. A Surplus of Living Attention:Celebrating the Life and Ideas of Teresa Brennan
Let me begin with a confession: Over the course of my twenty years of friendship with Teresa Brennan, I lived and breathed her books; but I fi ercely resisted reading them, until after her death. I have asked myself why and have yet to come up with a satisfactory response...
2. Living A Tension
With risks come possibilities for creativity and imagination—a creative force that takes bits and pieces from here and there and mixes them together into a powerful stimulant if not elixir. In Brennan’s work, we risk losing...
3. Time Difference: The Political Psychoanalysis of Teresa Brennan
Teresa Brennan wrote, as maybe all do at the moment of creation, in a time zone between conviction and madness, ignominy and brilliance. Above all, she wrote in pursuit of a platform on which to put up her leftist political conviction alongside her feminist outrage and her psychoanalytic understanding of affective life...
4. Heidegger after Brennan
There are many ways in which Teresa Brennan deliberately and explicitly set her work in relation to Heidegger’s. In Exhausting Modernity (2000), her point of departure is “at least informed by . . . the critique of foundationalism begun by Heidegger” (Brennan 2000, 14). Throughout that work, as she builds her argument in readings of Marx, Freud and Lacan, Heidegger’s name surfaces again ...
5. Repressed Knowledge and theTransmission of Affect
I last saw Teresa Brennan when she passed through England in the summer of 2002 on her way to Israel, where she was planning to join a group of academics visiting the West Bank. As things turned out, she set off on the next stage of her journey via Egypt, and was surprised and somewhat crest-fallen when even her formidable powers of persuasion failed to move the ...
6. Emotion, Affect, Drive For Teresa Brennan
I delivered an earlier version of this essay in October of 2003 at a memorial symposium celebrating the life and work of Teresa Brennan. I want to express my thanks to Kelly Oliver and Liz Grosz for organizing that memorial event for Teresa Brennan, and especially for inviting me to participate. It was a privilege to be there with so many of her distinguished friends, and to have ...
7. After Teresa Brennan
In the spring of 2000, Teresa sent me her manuscript, The Transmission of Affect1 and asked me to respond to it. This followed on a series of exchanges we had at first about the concept of race as a fictional device within the sociology of medicine, which then led to other related issues. Teresa had proposed that we work on an essay together, maybe even a book, on race and...
8. Ubuntu and Teresa Brennan’s Energetics
Teresa Brennan was a visionary thinker. At the heart of her vision was a passionate plea for all of us to take up the battle for what she called an “economy of generosity,” and if not that, at least an “economy of sustenance.” These two economies would be pitted against the fantasized, or what Brennan calls “the fundamental hallucination” upon which advanced capitalism ...
9. What’s Not Seen
Teresa responded with all her senses, intellectually. She explored knowledge and knowledges with a mix of lightness and intensity. She understood that we cannot know enough to satisfy the cravings of epistemophilia (the thirst for knowledge that some analysts identify with the infant’s first thirst). She was clear-sighted about the identification of seeing with intellectual life, ...
10. Reading Brennan
In 1992, Teresa Brennan published her first book, The Interpretation of the Flesh. The book opens with two epigraphs. One is from Proust: “But at least, if strength were granted me for long enough to accomplish my work, I should not fail . . . to describe men first and foremost as occupying a place, a very considerable place compared with the restricted one which is allotted them ...
11. Can We Make Peace?* For Teresa Brennan
The premature death of Teresa Brennan fills me with an immense sadness. I have lost a friend—one who introduced me into the circle of Hannah Arendt’s collaborators and accomplices at the New School, and who could always inspire me with the interest and pertinence of her thought in the domains of femininity, of the sacred, of psychoanalysis. In these moments of ...
A Eulogy for Teresa Brennan
It is difficult to write a eulogy for a friend who has had a public life and thus belongs to the public sphere. Personal loss evokes images that are not the least bit monumental. For me it is Teresa driving her car onto our snowy lawn, missing the driveway completely and almost landing in the kitchen. Or eating ice cream cones in tourist Cuba as her sarong unravels, her...