Judith Butler: Gender, Sex, and Death
New York, NY 10027
Gender Trouble (1990) thrust Judith Butler into academic and public stardom. Her revolutionary work on gender constitution and performativity overturned normative concepts of identity, embodiment, and intersubjectivity. Pioneering the field of queer theory, Butler’s work has also shaped contemporary political philosophy, ethics, and feminism through a radical lens influenced by strains of poststructuralism and critical theory. This course will offer students an opportunity to survey the scope of Butler’s writings, touching on topics of gender, sex, performativity, collective identity, citizenship, and grievability.
Moving from Butler’s early works (including Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter) through her more recent writings on precariousness and grievability, we will engage questions of human identity, phenomenology, and recognition. Each week we will focus on a different theme, beginning with gender constitution, performativity, and interpellation. The second week we will examine questions at the intersections of power, psychoanalysis, and queer theory. Week three will focus on selections of Butler’s writings on literature, including her work on Kafka and Antigone. The final week will focus on Butler’s more recent investigations into precariousness and the politics of mourning.
Course ScheduleTuesday, 6:30-9:30pm
June 05 — June 26, 2018