The Judith Butler Reader

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That aside, this really is a must read for anyone studying gender and sexuality from any perspective. I feel like I could read this ten times more and find more, and I already feel like I have taken in a lot.

Table of Contents: The Judith Butler reader /

Oct 13, a. The stuff on gender is by far the best, but her writing style is belaboured, and the literary-based essays I find too superficial. I find myself asking 'so what?

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The Judith Butler Reader

Judith Butler is an American post-structuralist and feminist philosopher who has contributed to the fields of feminism, queer theory, political philosophy and ethics. She is currently a professor in the Rhetoric and Comparative Literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley.

Butler received her Ph.

Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. In the lates she held several teaching and 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, and mourning and war.

Her most recent work focuses on Jewish philosophy and exploring pre- and post-Zionist criticisms of state violence.

Judith Butler: Your Behavior Creates Your Gender

Her work, which has been translated into over twenty languages, has consistently attracted large audiences in both traditional disciplines and more recent interdisciplinary formations. This collection ably illustrates why her impact has been enormous across diverse fields: This Reader comprises twelve selections, along with an extended interview with Butler and a selected bibliography of her works.


Seven are excerpts from Butler's books, through Antigone's Claim and the coauthored Contingency, Hegemony, Universality ; four essays from edited collections and one journal article make up the rest. The book provides a convenient introduction for students approaching Butler for the first time. In addition, for those who have read her sporadically, it offers a compelling overview of the current shape of her career, beginning in with an early essay on Beauvoir, Wittig, and Foucault and her first book, developed out of her Yale dissertation, through the publication of 'What Is Critique?

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The arrangement is mainly chronological, with divisions into three thematic clusters reflecting major concerns of Butler's scholarship: Her signature themes, from gender performativity to the political potential of resignification and 'affirmative deconstruction,' emerge throughout the selections, as she develops the eclectic theoretical strands in continental philosophy, poststructuralism, feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and, above all, Foucauldian thought that have shaped her work.

Butler herself offers a succinct summary of her ongoing academic explorations: What is the relation between desire and recognition, and how is it that the constitution of the subject entails a radical and constitutive relation to alterity? The dynamic developmental patterns in Butler's work emerge clearly in this collection, as does her scrupulous intellectual honesty. Carefully situating her arguments and limiting the scope of her claims, she is willing to rethink earlier positions, admit problems, and revise and refine accordingly.

The new prefaces she produced in for reprintings of [End Page ] Subjects of Desire and Gender Trouble , reproduced in this collection before the excerpts from the originals, are models of autocritique. Because she supports radical democratic politics not only as a theoretician but also as an activist, Butler has been able to use insights from her own political work in reworking some of her early positions.

The Judith Butler Reader

For all of these reasons she remains one of our most powerful contemporary critics of language and its political consequences. Demanding much of herself, she also makes multiple demands on her readers; the difficulty of her style, and the viciousness of attacks on it despite her explanations, are legendary.

The editor's introductions to the volume and before each selection are uniformly excellent.

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The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader
The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader
The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader
The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader
The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader
The Judith Butler Reader The Judith Butler Reader

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