1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Cesagen · Research

Feminism and Critique

Maureen McNeil

Start date


Affiliated staff

Maureen McNeil


This stream of work involves ongoing research on developments in feminist debates about nature, materialism, science, and critique. In particular, the investigation has focused on the emergence of ‘new material feminism’, the abandonment of ‘critique’, and new feminist approaches to the biological sciences. There have been presentations deriving from this work, including: ‘Feminism and Critique’, Feminism and its Methods Workshop, Manchester University, 13 July 2010. A preliminary article deriving from this research has been published, together with a related book review (see below).


The aim is to continue to probe the features of these new positionings within feminist theory and practice, foregrounding relationships with the biological sciences and with key figures within these fields. The analysis will be extended to reflect further contributions to the ongoing debates around materialism and critique. There will be a further article deriving from this work, focusing particularly on the issue of critique, feminism and science, to be submitted to Feminist Theory by December 2011.


This work is mainly conceptual, involving a review of recent debates, investigation of the genealogy of key terms and concepts, and historical research on materialist frameworks.

Project update

Emerging themes:

Some of the key themes which have emerged include: scepticism about critique as a key tool of feminist theory and practice; questions about the tackling of power relations within the sciences; issues of mediation. 


McNeil, M. (2011) ‘Review of Barbara Creed, Darwin’s Screens: Evolutionary Aesthetics, Time and Sexual Display in Cinema’, Screen , 52: 1, p 232

McNeil, M. (2010) ‘Post-millennial feminist theory: encounters with humanism, materialism, critique, nature, biology and Darwin’, Journal of Cultural Research, 14: 4, pp 427-37

Further information

For further information, please contact