Reclaiming Time

The Transformative Politics of Feminist Temporalities

By Tanya Ann Kennedy

Subjects: Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, African American Studies, American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Hardcover : 9781438495460, 253 pages, November 2023
Paperback : 9781438495453, 253 pages, May 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-05-02

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Part I: Crisis and Reparation

1. What Time Is It? Mourning America

2. Precarity and the Girl-Time Imaginary

Interlude: Temporal Reorientations

3. Black Feminism and the Reparative

Part II: Feminism in Reparative Time

4. Chronic Harm: The Anti-Archive and Reparative Time

5. From Combahee Resistance to the Confederate: Black Feminist Temporalities and White Supremacy

Works Cited

Offers an interdisciplinary feminist framework for conceptualizing time and temporal justice as a form of reparation.


The post-2016 election era in the United States is commonly presumed to be an era of crisis. Reclaiming Time argues that the narratives used to make this crisis a meaningful national story (e.g., Hillbilly Elegy, Strangers in Their Own Land) are not only gendered and racialized but also give a thin account of time, one so superficial as to make the future unimaginable. Examining the work of feminist theorists, performance artists, writers, and activists—from Octavia Butler and Jesmyn Ward to the Combahee River Collective and Congresswoman Maxine Waters—Tanya Ann Kennedy shows how their work disturbs dominant temporal frames; rearticulates the relations between past, present, and future; and offers models for "doing" the future as reparation. Reclaiming Time thus builds on while also critiquing feminist literary critical practices of reparative reading. Kennedy further aligns the method of reparative reading with the theories and aims of reparative justice, making the case for more fully engaging with social movement activism.

Tanya Ann Kennedy is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Maine at Augusta. She is the author of Historicizing Post-Discourses: Postfeminism and Postracialism in United States Culture, also published by SUNY Press.


"Kennedy advances a robust feminist critical lens to interrogate crisis narratives that perpetuate white life and nation-time, while neglecting chronic harm to oppressed communities. As Kennedy shows, the temporal and spatial formations of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy often manifest where we might least expect them, even within the stories feminism tells about itself. Kennedy departs from conventional reparations frameworks, raising our collective consciousness about the significance of reparative praxis and aesthetics." — Regis M. Fox, author of Resistance Reimagined: Black Women's Critical Thought as Survival

"Reclaiming Time makes an original and important contribution to critical time studies, showing how reparation and repair will always get co-opted back into 'more of the same' if we fail to recognize how 'white time' structures ideas of past, present, and future." — Lisa Baraitser, author of Enduring Time