The Political Interests of Gender



This anthology of essays was the first collection I published with my friend and colleague, Anna G. Jónasdóttir. It grew out of a panel on theories of gender and power held in Göteborg, Sweden in 1986. Anna had co-organized the session with another colleague from Sweden, Gun Hedlund. Both Anna and Gun were still doctoral students at the time.

The panel included an international group of scholars, who got together for five days of intensive discussion, exploring how power affects relationships between and among women and men in different social and cultural settings.

But something else grew out of that panel—the beginning of a friendship between Anna and me that has already lasted twenty-five years. Despite the geographical distance between us, we continue to talk, and to meet face-to -ace from time to time, sharing not only our thoughts about politics, but also our personal stories.

Two decades after the publication of what we affectionately called our “Green Book,” (for obvious reasons!), Anna and I assembled another collection of essays: The Political Interests of Gender Revisited.  We called it Green Book II. Although, as you can see, its cover is blue. (You can read a review here.)

The next year,  Anna retired from the University. Another friend, Gunnel Karlsson and I invited Anna’s colleagues to contribute to what academics call a festschrift—a German word for a book that honors the work of a scholar. We titled the book Gender and the Interests of Love, and the essay I wrote was “Anna och jag: Friendship, Work, and Love”:

This is the story of a friendship. It is also the story of a scholarly collaboration. Intertwining the intellectual with the personal and the personal with the political, I have woven together strands of stories into a tapestry of emotions and ideas, whose boundaries have reached across a wide expanse of geography and time, of physical space and life-cycles in the lives of two feminists: Anna G. Jónasdóttir and Kathleen B. Jones, Anna and me, Anna och jag.

Sometimes an idea gets you writing and you discover you’ve written yourself into a new world.

 

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