The Full Wiki

Judith Butler: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Judith Butler
Full name Judith Butler
Born February 24, 1956 (1956-02-24) (age 54)
Cleveland, Ohio
Era 20th / 21st-century philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Continental Philosophy, Third-Wave Feminism, Critical Theory, Queer Theory, Postmodernism, Post-structuralism
Main interests Feminist Theory, Political Philosophy, Ethics, Psychoanalysis, Discourse, Embodiment, Sexuality, Jewish Philosophy
Notable ideas Sex and gender as social construction, performativity

Judith Butler (born 24 February 1956) is an American post-structuralist philosopher, who has contributed to the fields of feminism, queer theory, political philosophy, and ethics. She is currently the Maxine Elliott professor in the Rhetoric and Comparative Literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley.

Butler received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University in 1984, for a dissertation subsequently published as Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. In the late-1980s she held several teaching/research appointments, and was involved in "post-structuralist" efforts within Western feminist theory to question the "presuppositional terms" of feminism. Her research ranges from literary theory, modern philosophical fiction, feminist and sexuality studies, to 19th- and 20th-century European literature and philosophy, Kafka and loss, mourning and war.[1] Her most recent work focuses on Jewish philosophy, exploring pre- and post-Zionist criticisms of state violence.[2][3]

Contents

Biography

Butler was born in Cleveland, Ohio [1] to a family of Hungarian and Russian ancestry.[4] Her mother was raised in Orthodox Judaism, later turning to Conservative Judaism, and finally to Reform Judaism; Butler's father belonged to a Reformed Synagogue since his childhood.[5] As a child and teenager, she attended both Hebrew school and special classes on Jewish ethics where she received her "first training in philosophy." [5][6] Butler stated in a 2010 interview with Haaretz that she began the ethics classes at the age of 14 and that they were created as a form of punishment by her Hebrew school's Rabbi because she was "too talkative in class," "talk[ed] back," and was "not well behaved."[5] Butler also stated that she was "thrilled" by the classes and chose to focus on Martin Buber. She also encountered the writings of Kant, Hegel, and Spinoza during these special sessions.[5]

Butler studied philosophy at Yale University, receiving her B.A. in 1978 and her Ph.D. in 1984.[7] Her dissertation was subsequently published as Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France.[8] She taught at Wesleyan University, George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University before joining U.C. Berkeley in 1993.[1]

Overview of works

Advertisements

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)

Gender Trouble was first published in 1990, selling over 100,000 copies internationally and in different languages[citation needed]. Alluding to the similarly named 1974 John Waters film Female Trouble starring the drag queen Divine,[9] Gender Trouble critically discusses the works of Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Luce Irigaray, Monique Wittig, Jacques Derrida, and, most significantly, Michel Foucault. The book has also enjoyed widespread popularity outside of traditional academic circles, even inspiring an intellectual fanzine, Judy![10]

The crux of Butler's argument in Gender Trouble is that the coherence of the categories of sex, gender, and sexuality—the natural-seeming coherence, for example, of masculine gender and heterosexual desire in male bodies—is culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time. These stylized bodily acts, in their repetition, establish the appearance of an essential, ontological "core" gender.[citation needed] This is the sense in which Butler famously theorizes gender, along with sex and sexuality, as performative. The performance of gender, sex, and sexuality, however, is not a voluntary choice for Butler, who locates the construction of the gendered, sexed, desiring subject within what she calls, borrowing from Foucault’s Discipline and Punish, "regulative discourses." These, also called "frameworks of intelligibility" or "disciplinary regimes," decide in advance what possibilities of sex, gender, and sexuality are socially permitted to appear as coherent or "natural."[citation needed] Regulative discourse includes within it disciplinary techniques which, by coercing subjects to perform specific stylized actions, maintain the appearance in those subjects of the "core" gender, sex and sexuality the discourse itself produces.[11]

A significant yet sometimes overlooked part of Butler's argument concerns the role of sex in the construction of "natural" or coherent gender and sexuality. Butler explicitly challenges biological accounts of binary sex, reconceiving the sexed body as itself culturally constructed by regulative discourse.[12] The supposed obviousness of sex as a natural biological fact attests to how deeply its production in discourse is concealed. The sexed body, once established as a “natural” and unquestioned “fact,” is the alibi for constructions of gender and sexuality, unavoidably more cultural in their appearance, which can purport to be the just-as-natural expressions or consequences of a more fundamental sex. On Butler’s account, it is on the basis of the construction of natural binary sex that binary gender and heterosexuality are likewise constructed as natural.[13] In this way, Butler claims that without a critique of sex as produced by discourse, the sex/gender distinction as a feminist strategy for contesting constructions of binary asymmetric gender and compulsory heterosexuality will be ineffective.[14]

The concept of gender performativity is at the core of Butler's work. It extends beyond the doing of gender and can be understood as a full-fledged theory of subjectivity. Indeed, if her most recent books have shifted focus away from gender, they still treat performativity as theoretically central.[citation needed]

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993)

Bodies That Matter seeks to clear up readings and misreadings of performativity that view the enactment of sex/gender as a daily choice.[15] To do this, Butler emphasizes the role of repetition in performativity, making use of Derrida's theory of iterability, a form of citationality, to work out a theory of performativity in terms of iterability:

Performativity cannot be understood outside of a process of iterability, a regularized and constrained repetition of norms. And this repetition is not performed by a subject; this repetition is what enables a subject and constitutes the temporal condition for the subject. This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular 'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist, determining it fully in advance.[16]

Iterability, in its endless undeterminedness as to-be-determinedness, is thus precisely that aspect of performativity that makes the production of the "natural" sexed, gendered, heterosexual subject possible, while also and at the same time opening that subject up to the possibility of its incoherence and contestation.[citation needed]

Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (1997)

In Excitable Speech, Butler surveys the problems of hate speech and censorship. She argues that censorship is difficult to evaluate, and that in some cases it may be useful or even necessary, while in others it may be worse than tolerance.[citation needed] She develops a new conception of censorship’s complex workings, supplanting the myth of the independent subject who wields the power to censor with a theory of censorship as an effect of state power and, more primordially, as the condition of language and discourse itself.[citation needed]

Butler argues that hate speech exists retrospectively, only after being declared such by state authorities. In this way, the state reserves for itself the power to define hate speech and, conversely, the limits of acceptable discourse. In this connection, Butler criticizes feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon's argument against pornography for its unquestioning acceptance of the state’s power to censor.[citation needed]Butler warns that such appeals to state power may backfire on those like MacKinnon who seek social change, in her case to end patriarchal oppression, through legal reforms. She cites for example the R. A. V. v. City of St. Paul 1992 Supreme Court case, which overturned the conviction of a teenager for burning a cross on the lawn of an African American family, in the name of the First Amendment.[citation needed]

Deploying Foucault’s argument from The History of Sexuality Vol. 1, Butler claims that any attempt at censorship, legal or otherwise, necessarily propagates the very language it seeks to forbid.[17] As Foucault argues, for example, the strict sexual mores of 19th century Western Europe did nothing but amplify the discourse of sexuality it sought to control.[18] Extending this argument using Derrida and Lacan, Butler claims that censorship is primitive to language, and that the linguistic “I” is a mere effect of an originary censorship. In this way, Butler questions the possibility of any genuinely oppositional discourse; "If speech depends upon censorship, then the principle that one might seek to oppose is at once the formative principle of oppositional speech".[19]

Butler also questions the efficacy of censorship on the grounds that hate speech is context-dependent. Citing J.L. Austin's concept of the performative utterance, Butler notes that words’ ability to “do things” makes hate speech possible but also at the same time dependent on its specific embodied context.[citation needed] Austin’s claim that what a word “does,” its illocutionary force, varies with the context in which it is uttered implies that it is impossible to adequately define the performative meanings of words, including hate, abstractly.[citation needed] On this basis, Butler rejects arguments like Richard Delgado’s which justify the censorship of certain specific words by claiming the use of those words constitutes hate speech in any context. In this way, Butler underlines the difficulty inherent in efforts to systematically identify hate speech.

Undoing Gender (2004)

Undoing Gender collects Butler's reflections on gender, sex, sexuality, psychoanalysis and the medical treatment of intersex people for a more general readership than many of her other books. Butler revisits and refines her notion of performativity, which is the focus of Gender Trouble.[citation needed]

In her discussion of intersex, Butler addresses the case of David Reimer, a person whose sex was medically "reassigned" from male to female after a botched circumcision at eight months of age. Reimer was "made" female by doctors, but later in life identified as "really" male, married and became a step father to his wife's 3 children, and went on to tell his story in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl which he wrote with John Colapinto. Reimer had committed suicide in 2004.[20]

Giving an Account of Oneself (2005)

In Giving an Account of Oneself, Butler develops an ethics based on the opacity of the subject to itself, the limits of self-knowledge. Borrowing from Adorno, Foucault, Nietzsche, Laplanche, Cavarero and Levinas, among others, Butler develops a theory of the formation of the subject as a relation to the social – a community of others and their norms – which is beyond the control of the subject it forms, as precisely the very condition of that subject’s formation, the resources by which the subject becomes recognizably human, a grammatical "I", in the first place. The subject is therefore dispossessed of itself by another or others as the very condition of its being at all, and this process by which I become myself only in relation to others and therefore cannot own myself completely, this constitutive dispossession, is the opacity of the contemporary subject to itself, what I cannot know, possess, and master consciously about myself.[citation needed]

Butler then turns to the ethical question: If my narrative account of myself is necessarily incomplete, breaking down tellingly at the point precisely when "I" am called to elucidate the foundations of this "I", my genesis and ontology, what kind of ethical agent, or "I", am "I"?[citation needed] Butler accepts the claim that if the subject is opaque to itself the limitations of its free ethical responsibility and obligations are due to the limits of narrative, presuppositions of language and projection. "You may think that I am in fact telling a story about the prehistory of the subject, one that I have been arguing cannot be told. There are two responses to this objection. (1) That there is no final or adequate narrative reconstruction of the prehistory of the speaking "I" does not mean we cannot narrate it; it only means that at the moment when we narrate we become speculative philosophers or fiction writers. (2) This prehistory has never stopped happening and, as such, is not a prehistory in any chronological sense. It is not done with, over, relegated to a past, which then becomes part of a causal or narrative reconstruction of the self. On the contrary, that prehistory interrupts the story I have to give of myself, makes every account of myself partial and failed, and constitutes, in a way, my failure to be fully accountable for my actions, my final "irresponsibility," one for which I may be forgiven only because I could not do otherwise. This not being able to do otherwise is our common predicament" (page 78).

Instead she argues for an ethics based precisely on the limits of self-knowledge as the limits of responsibility itself.[citation needed] Any concept of responsibility which demands the full transparency of the self to itself, an entirely accountable self, necessarily does violence to the opacity which marks the constitution of the self it addresses. The scene of address by which responsibility is enabled is always already a relation between subjects who are variably opaque to themselves and to each other. The ethics that Butler envisions is therefore one in which the responsible self knows the limits of its knowing, recognizes the limits of its capacity to give an account of itself to others, and respects those limits as symptomatically human.[citation needed] To take seriously one's opacity to oneself in ethical deliberation means then to critically interrogate the social world in which one comes to be human in the first place and which remains precisely that which one cannot know about oneself. In this way, Butler locates social and political critique at the core of ethical practice.[citation needed]

Reception

Many scholars have praised Butler's work. She has been referred to as "one of the superstars of '90s academia, with a devoted following of grad students nationwide,"[21] "the most famous feminist philosopher in the United States," "the queer theorist par excellence," and "the most brilliantly eclectic theorist of sexuality in recent years."[22] In addition, Lois McNay argues that, "Butler's work has influenced feminist understandings of gender identity (1999: 175)."[22] Others, such as Susan A. Speer and Jonathan Potter claim that her research has given new insight in several areas, especially in the concept of heterosexism. However, although Speer and Potter find Butler’s work useful in this respect, they find her work too abstract to be usefully applied to “real-life situations.” For this reason, they pair a reading of Butler with Discursive Psychology in order to extend Butler’s ideas to real-world scenarios.[23]

Others are more critical. Susan Bordo has chastised Butler for reducing gender to language, arguing that the body is a major part of gender, thus implicitly opposing her conception of gender as performed.[24] Peter Digeser argues that Butler’s idea of performativity is too pure to account for identity. Digeser doubts that pure performativity is possible, suggesting that in viewing the gendered individual as purely performed, Butler ignores the gendered body, which Bordo also argues is extremely important. He also argues that neither an essentialist nor a performative notion of gender should be used in the political sphere, as both simplify gender too much.[25] Martha Nussbaum has argued that Butler misreads J.L. Austin's idea of performative utterance, makes erroneous legal claims, forecloses an essential site of resistance by repudiating pre-cultural agency, and provides no normative ethical theory to direct the subversive performances that Butler endorses.[26] Finally, Nancy Fraser argued that Butler’s focus on performativity has distanced her from “everyday ways of talking and thinking about ourselves … Why should we use such a self-distancing idiom?”[27]

Commentary on style

Butler's prose-style has generated some controversy, according to Sara Salih, lecturer in English at the University of Kent at Canterbury.[28] To the author herself this is not surprising; she has been misinterpreted and misunderstood because the concepts with which she deals are "philosophically challenging, often apparently ‘counter-intuitive’, and not always described in immediately accessible language."[29]

In 1998, Denis Dutton's journal Philosophy and Literature "awarded" Butler "First Prize" in its "Bad Writing Competition," which claims to "celebrate bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in scholarly books and articles."[30] Dutton discontinued this "award" after being heavily criticized for its hostile spirit.[31] Butler responded to Dutton's criticism, with a letter to the London Review of Books and an op-ed piece for the New York Times. She argued that writing clearly can make the author too reliant on common sense and as such make language lose its potential to "shape the world" and shake up the status quo.[32][33]

Stanley N. Kurtz, in turn, argued against Butler's op-ed in a letter to the New York Times titled, "Bad Writing Has No Defense."[34] Stephen K. Roney also responded that "many—indeed, most—generally recognized “great thinkers” have been clear and lucid in their writing [...] Is Butler claiming to be deeper than all of them?"[35]

Political activism

In "No, It's Not Anti-Semitic," an August 2003 article published in the London Review of Books, Butler argued against statements by Harvard President Lawrence Summers who suggested that criticizing Israeli policies is a form of anti-semitism. She responded by stating that it, "will not do to equate Jews with Zionists or Jewishness with Zionism" and argued against the notion that Jews such as herself who were critical of Israeli policies are "self-hating." She also referred to Post-Zionism as a "small but important" movement in Israel. In addition, Butler also argued that, "a challenge to the right of Israel to exist can be construed as a challenge to the existence of the Jewish people only if one believes that Israel alone keeps the Jewish people alive or that all Jews invest their sense of perpetuity in the state of Israel in its current or traditional forms.” [36]

In a later 2004 article, "Jews and the Bi-National Vision," published in Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture, Butler attributes this vision to the writings of Martin Buber.[37] On September 7, 2006, Butler participated in a faculty-organized teach-in at the University of California, Berkeley, against the 2006 Lebanon War.[38] Butler is also a strong supporter of the 2005 international economic campaign, BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions).[5]

Publications (incomplete)

Selected honors and awards

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Judith Butler wins Mellon Award". UC Berkeley. March 19, 2009. http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2009/03/19_butler.shtml. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ "U.C. Berkeley Biography". U.C. Berkeley. http://rhetoric.berkeley.edu/faculty_bios/judith_butler.html. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ Butler, Judith. "The Charge of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and the Risks of Public Critique. Wrestling with Zionism: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Ed. Tony Kushner and Alisa Solonmon. New York: Grove, 2003. pp. 249-265.
  4. ^ Regina Michalik (May 2001). "Interview with Judith Butler". Lola Press. http://www.lolapress.org/elec2/artenglish/butl_e.htm. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Udi Aloni (February 24, 2010). "Judith Butler: As a Jew, I was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up". Haaretz. http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1152017.html. Retrieved February 24, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Judith Butler, Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy- Biography". The European Graduate School. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/judith-butler/biography/. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Tanner Lecture on Human Values:2004-2005 Lecture Series". UC Berkeley. March 2005. http://grad.berkeley.edu/tanner/0405.shtml. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  8. ^ Judith Butler (1987). Subjects of desire: Hegelian reflections in twentieth-century France. http://books.google.com/books?id=nYnn-vjvzFoC&pg=PR8&lpg=PR8&dq=Subjects+of+Desire:+Hegelian+Reflections+in+Twentieth-Century+France+butler+dissertation&source=bl&ots=z1FTc3kUyj&sig=EPEMaUJtgVE97eF9jIc639ZkG38&hl=en&ei=37SKS67VIIaisgObm5n5AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBQQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  9. ^ Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. xxviii-xxix. 
  10. ^ Larissa MacFarquhar, "Putting the Camp Back into Campus," [[Lingua Franca (magazine)|]] (September/October 1993); see also Judith Butler, "Decamping," Lingua Franca (November-December 1993).
  11. ^ Butler explicitly formulates her theory of performativity in the final pages of Gender Trouble, specifically in the final section of her chapter "Subversive Bodily Acts" entitled "Bodily Inscriptions, Performative Subversions" and elaborates performativity in relation to the question of political agency in her conclusion, "From Parody to Politics." See Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 171–90. 
  12. ^ For Butler's critique of biological accounts of sexual difference as a ruse for the cultural construction of "natural" sex, see Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. "Concluding Unscientific Postscript". Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 135–41. 
  13. ^ For Butler's discussion of the performative co-construction of sex and gender see Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 163–71, 177–8.  The signification of sex is also addressed in connection with Monique Wittig in the section "Monique Wittig: Bodily Disintegrations and Fictive Sex," pp. 141-63
  14. ^ For Butler's problematization of the sex/gender distinction see Butler, Judith (1999) [1990]. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 9–11, 45–9. 
  15. ^ For example, Jeffreys, Sheila (1994). "The Queer Disappearance of Lesbians: Sexuality in the Academy". Women's Studies International Forum 17 (5): 459–72. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(94)00051-4. 
  16. ^ Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge. pp. 95. 
  17. ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 129–33. 
  18. ^ For example, Foucault, Michel (1990) [1976]. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction. Vol 1.. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York: Vintage. pp. 23. "A censorship of sex? There was installed [since the 17th century] rather an apparatus for producing an ever greater quantity of discourse about sex, capable of functioning and taking effect in its very economy." 
  19. ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 140. 
  20. ^ Colapinto, J (2004-06-03). "Gender Gap: What were the real reasons behind David Reimer's suicide?". [[Slate (magazine)|]]. http://slate.com/id/2101678/. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  21. ^ Judith Butler, www.theory.org.uk
  22. ^ a b Salih, Sara (2002). Judith Butler, p.137. ISBN 0415215188. "Most famous" quoted from "Review", Subjects of Desire (1999). "Most brilliant" quoted from Jonathan Dollimore (1996: 533).
  23. ^ Speer, Susan A., and Jonathan Potter. "From Performatives to Practices." Talking Gender and Sexuality. Ed. Paul McIlvenny. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Company, 2002. 150-180.
  24. ^ Hekman, Susan. “Material Bodies.” Body and Flesh: a Philosophical Reader. Ed. Donn Welton. Blackwell Publishing. 61-70. Accessed through Google Books on Feb 24, 2008.
  25. ^ Diseger, Peter. "Performativity Trouble: Postmodern Feminism and Essential Subjects." Political Research Quarterly 47 (1994): 655-673. Accessed through JSTOR on Feb 24, 2008.
  26. ^ The Professor Parody
  27. ^ Fraser, Nancy. “False Antitheses.” Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. Routledge. 67. Accessed through Google Books on Feb 24, 2008.
  28. ^ Routledge Critical Thinkers: Judith Butler, by Sara Salih (London 2002), pages 12-14
  29. ^ Salih (2002), p. 12
  30. ^ Dutton, Denis (1998). "Bad Writing Contest". http://denisdutton.com/bad_writing.htm. 
  31. ^ Thorkelson, Eli (April 2007). "The case of the Bad Writing Contest: Literary theory as commodity and literary theorists as brands" (pdf). http://decasia.org/papers/badwriting.pdf. 
  32. ^ Judith Butler, "Exacting Solidarities," The London Review of Books, 21, 13, 1 July 1999
  33. ^ Judith Butler, "A ‘Bad’ Writer Bites Back," The New York Times, 20 March 1999.
  34. ^ Stanley, Kurtz (24 March 1999). "'Bad Writing' Has No Defense". http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/24/opinion/l-bad-writing-has-no-defense-898120.html?pagewanted=1. 
  35. ^ Roney, Stephen K. "Postmodernist Prose and George Orwell." Academic Questions, Issue 2, Vol. 15. March, 2002:13-23.
  36. ^ Judith Butler (August 21, 2003). "No, it's not anti-semitic". London Review of Books. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n16/butl02_.html. Retrieved April 5, 2006. 
  37. ^ Judith Butler (Winter 2004). "Jews and the Bi-National Vision". Logos. http://www.logosjournal.com/butler.htm. Retrieved February 28, 2010. 
  38. ^ Judith Butler. "Questioning the 'New Middle East:' War and Resistance in Lebanon". Berkeley Teach-In Against War. http://www.btiaw.org/. Retrieved September 17, 2006. 

Further reading

  • Carver, Terrell and Samuel A. Chambers. ''Judith Butler and Political Theory: Troubling Politics. New York: Routledge, 2008.
  • Cheah, Pheng, "Mattering," Diacritics, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 1996, pp. 108–139.
  • Kirby, Vicki. Judith Butler: Live Theory. London: Continuum, 2006.
  • Salih, Sarah. The Judith Butler Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2004.
  • ---. ''Routledge Critical Thinkers: Judith Butler. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Thiem, Annika. Unbecoming Subjects: Judith Butler, Moral Philosophy, and Critical Responsibility, Fordham University Press, 2008.
  • Zadjermann, Paule. Judith Butler: Philosophical Encounters of the Third Kind (documentary film). 52 minutes / color, 2007.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Judith Butler at a lecture in University of Humburg

Judith Butler (born 24 February 1956) is an American post-structuralist philosopher who has contributed to the fields of feminism, queer theory, political philosophy, and ethics.

Sourced

  • Gender is not something that one is, it is something one does, an act… a "doing" rather than a "being".
  • There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender; that identity is performatively constituted by the very "expressions" that are said to be its results.
    • "Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity" (1990)
  • Gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original; in fact, it is a kind of imitation that produces the very notion of the original as an effect and consequence of the imitation itself.
    • "Imitation and Gender Insubordination" in Inside/Out (1991) edited by Diana Fuss
  • Indeed it may be only by risking the incoherence of identity that connection is possible.
    • Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993)
  • Perhaps the promise of phallus is always dissatisfying in some way.
    • "The Lesbian Phallus and the Morphological Imaginary" (1993), later published in The Judith Butler Reader (2004) edited by Sarah Salih with Judith Butler
  • To ask what this means is to miss the point. This sentence beats readers into submission and instructs them that they are in the presence of a great and deep mind. Actual communication has nothing to do with it. "About Denis" (2009) edited by Judith Butler

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message