About Denise Thompson
Work in Progress
Denise Thompson, feminist theorist
About this website
This website collects
together a body of work in social theory that deserves a wider readership
than it has had so far. Written by myself, Denise Thompson, over the last
25 years, this theory started as a radical feminist critique of dominant
meanings and values and the meanings and values of domination, largely
through textual analyses of the standard academic feminist literature.
Subsequently, it developed into a critique of the dominant ideology of
our time, i.e. liberalism, and the system it is designed to justify and
excuse, i.e. capitalist economic domination.
The theory was initially
an attempt to understand what feminism meant and to bring some clarity
to what were often confusing debates, many of which are still unresolved
to this day. Through the process of clarifying the meaning of feminism
it became clear to me that the conventional practice of focusing only on
'women' limited the feminist project because it too often ignored the existence
of the overarching system of male domination that ruled the world. Having
got nowhere in my attempts to place a re-thinking of feminism on the public
agenda, I turned to theorising that other great source of power and misery,
the capitalist economy (which I argue is not 'other' to male domination,
but a major variant of it) and its chief apologia, liberalism.
The theory is argued
in a series of papers, articles, letters, emails, etc., some of which were
intended for an academic audience, some of which were not. Although the
papers in particular are academic in tone and content, they are quite readable,
containing neither jargon nor the latest in cutting-edge theoretical sophistication.
What is included here is largely unpublished material, although there are
also a number of pieces that have been published elsewhere. However, most
of my published work is not on this website. A list can be found in the
The website is also
a critique of the academic publishing industry. It documents the publication
history of this body of work, through annotated correspondence and readers'
reports from the academic journals (mostly feminist) to which the papers
were submitted for publication. This provides a kind of short history of
a non-career in academic publishing. These writings, unpleasant though
they sometimes are, are included as a case study of what goes on in the
academic (so-called) 'peer-reviewing' process.
The website contains
Denise Thompson is a short biographical note giving some relevant details
The next, the Publications
section, contains a list of those of my writings that have been published.
Feminism section contains papers I wrote on lesbianism and feminism,
together with some reactions to what I wrote. It also includes writings by other lesbian feminists.
Papers section contains those papers I sent off to journals, together
with the readers' reports and (sometimes) my present day, running commentaries
on the reports.
Papers section contains mainly conference papers, with now and again
some relevant commentary or correspondence.
Initially, the Work
in Progress section didn't contain anything at all. I have since included on it an introduction to the work I did
between 1999 and 2001 (and ongoing) in conjunction
with Bronwyn Winter and Sheila Jeffreys, and another paper on individualism.
Postal Address: P. O. Box 132, Leichhardt - 2040, Sydney, Australia