One of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past fifty years, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble is as celebrated as it is controversial. Arguing that traditional feminism is wrong to look to a natural, 'essential' notion of the female, or indeed of sex or gender, Butler starts by questioning the category 'woman' and continues in this vein with examinations of 'the masculine' and 'the feminine'. Best known however, but also most often misinterpreted, is Butler's concept of gender as a reiterated social performance rather than the expression of a prior reality. Thrilling and provocative, few other academic works have roused passions to the same extent.
Undoing Gender constitutes Judith Butler's recent reflections on gender and sexuality, focusing on new kinship, psychoanalysis and the incest taboo, transgender, intersex, diagnostic categories, social violence, and the tasks of social transformation. In terms that draw from feminist and queer theory, Butler considers the norms that govern--and fail to govern--gender and sexuality as they relate to the constraints on recognizable personhood. The book constitutes a reconsideration of her earlier view on gender performativity from Gender Trouble. In this work, the critique of gender norms is clearly situated within the framework of human persistence and survival. And to "do" one's gender in certain ways sometimes implies "undoing" dominant notions of personhood. She writes about the "New Gender Politics" that has emerged in recent years, a combination of movements concerned with transgender, transsexuality, intersex, and their complex relations to feminist and queer theory.
Author: Judith Butler
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2012-04-01
This classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the genesis and trajectory of the desiring subject from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit to its appropriation by Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Judith Butler plots the French reception of Hegel and the successive challenges waged against his metaphysics and view of the subject, all while revealing ambiguities within his position. The result is a sophisticated reconsideration of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern French thought, and her study remains a provocative and timely intervention in contemporary debates over the unconscious, the powers of subjection, and the subject.
Author: Judith Halberstam
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Social Science
Masculinity without men. In Female Masculinity Judith Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two hundred years. Providing the first full-length study on this subject, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-century pre-lesbian practices to contemporary drag king performances. Through detailed textual readings as well as empirical research, Halberstam uncovers a hidden history of female masculinities while arguing for a more nuanced understanding of gender categories that would incorporate rather than pathologize them. She rereads Anne Lister's diaries and Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness as foundational assertions of female masculine identity. She considers the enigma of the stone butch and the politics surrounding butch/femme roles within lesbian communities. She also explores issues of transsexuality among "transgender dykes"--lesbians who pass as men--and female-to-male transsexuals who may find the label of "lesbian" a temporary refuge. Halberstam also tackles such topics as women and boxing, butches in Hollywood and independent cinema, and the phenomenon of male impersonators. Female Masculinity signals a new understanding of masculine behaviors and identities, and a new direction in interdisciplinary queer scholarship. Illustrated with nearly forty photographs, including portraits, film stills, and drag king performance shots, this book provides an extensive record of the wide range of female masculinities. And as Halberstam clearly demonstrates, female masculinity is not some bad imitation of virility, but a lively and dramatic staging of hybrid and minority genders.
Author: Judith P. Butler
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Release Date: 2009-08-25
What does it mean to lead a moral life?In her first extended study of moral philosophy, Judith Butler offers a provocative outline for a new ethical practice-one responsive to the need for critical autonomy and grounded in a new sense of the human subject.Butler takes as her starting point one's ability to answer the questions What have I done?and What ought I to do?She shows that these question can be answered only by asking a prior question, Who is this 'I' who is under an obligation to give an account of itself and to act in certain ways?Because I find that I cannot give an account of myself without accounting for the social conditions under which I emerge, ethical reflection requires a turn to social theory.In three powerfully crafted and lucidly written chapters, Butler demonstrates how difficult it is to give an account of oneself, and how this lack of self-transparency and narratibility is crucial to an ethical understanding of the human. In brilliant dialogue with Adorno, Levinas, Foucault, and other thinkers, she eloquently argues the limits, possibilities, and dangers of contemporary ethical thought.Butler offers a critique of the moral self, arguing that the transparent, rational, and continuous ethical subject is an impossible construct that seeks to deny the specificity of what it is to be human. We can know ourselves only incompletely, and only in relation to a broader social world that has always preceded us and already shaped us in ways we cannot grasp. If inevitably we are partially opaque to ourselves, how can giving an account of ourselves define the ethical act? And doesn't an ethical system that holds us impossibly accountable for full self-knowledge and self-consistency inflict a kind of psychic violence, leading to a culture of self-beratement and cruelty? How does the turn to social theory offer us a chance to understand the specifically social character of our own unknowingness about ourselves?In this invaluable book, by recasting ethics as a project in which being ethical means becoming critical of norms under which we are asked to act, but which we can never fully choose, Butler illuminates what it means for us as fallible creaturesto create and share an ethics of vulnerability, humility, and ethical responsiveness. Judtith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. The most recent of her books are Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence and Undoing Gender.
Author: Sara Mills
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2011-05-09
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
Language, Gender and Feminism introduces students to key theoretical perspectives, methodology and analytical frameworks in the field of feminist linguistic analysis, providing readers with a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field.
Profit and Pleasure, Second Edition is a classic intervention into the relationship between capitalism and sexual identity. Rosemary Hennessy boldly reorients queer theory toward an up-close analysis of the structures of consumption, labor, and commodification, revealing how sexual identity—in the varied ways it has been culturally differentiated and lived—has been fundamentally affected by these principles of capitalism. In this second edition, a new introduction by the author reasserts a Marxist feminist standpoint as the most theoretically developed feminist analysis of capitalism’s cultural logics. She presents a range of key concepts—among them totality, overdetermination, social reproduction—outlining their evolution and continued relevance to analysis of sexuality since the book’s first publication in 2000. The introduction addresses important developments in materialist approaches to sexuality during the past two decades and concludes by returning to the notion of "love" as defined in the original edition, making a call for the common potential of human collaboration and action to ignite a radical sexual politics. This seminal text will appeal to students and scholars of feminist studies, gay and lesbian studies, and cultural and literary studies.
Author: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2008-01-17
Genre: Literary Criticism
Since the late 1980s, queer studies and theory have become vital to the intellectual and political life of the United States. This has been due, in no small degree, to the influence of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's critically acclaimed Epistemology of the Closet. Working from classic texts of European and American writers—including Melville, James, Nietzsche, Proust, and Wilde—Sedgwick analyzes a turn-of-the-century historical moment in which sexual orientation became as important a demarcation of personhood as gender had been for centuries. In her preface to this updated edition Sedgwick places the book both personally and historically, looking specifically at the horror of the first wave of the AIDS epidemic and its influence on the text.
Author: Andrew Parker
Release Date: 2013-11-05
From the age of Aristotle to the age of AIDS, writers, thinkers, performers and activists have wresteled with what "performance" is all about. At the same moment, "performativity"--a new concept in language theory--has become a ubiquitous term in literary studies. This volume grapples with the nature of these two key terms whose traces can be found everywhere: in the theatre, in the streets, in philosophy, in questions of race and gender, and in the sentences we speak.
Author: Elizabeth Weed
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Social Science
"... innovative and important thinking about the various relations between feminist theory, queer theory, and lesbian theory, as well as the possibility that liberation can be mutual rather than mutually exclusive." —Lambda Book Report When feminism meets queer theory, no introductions seem necessary. The two share common political interests—a concern for women's and gay and lesbian rights—and many of the same academic and intellectual roots. And yet, they can also seem like strangers, needing mediation, translation, clarification. This volume focuses on the encounters of feminist and queer theories, on the ways in which basic terms such as "male" and "female," "man" and "woman," "black," "white," "sex," "gender," and "sexuality" change meaning as they move from one body of theory to another. Along with essays by Judith Butler, Evelynn Hammonds, Biddy Martin, Kim Michasiw, Carole-Anne Tyler, and Elizabeth Weed, there are interviews: Judith Butler engages Rosi Braidotti and Gayle Rubin in separate revealing discussions. And there are critical exchanges: Rosi Braidotti and Trevor Hope exchange comments on his reading of her work; and Teresa de Lauretis responds to Elizabeth Grosz's review of her recent book.
In this brief and powerful book, Diana Fuss takes on the debate of pure essence versus social construct, engaging with the work of Luce Irigaray and Monique Wittig, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Houston Baker, and with the politics of gay identity.
Author: Alison M. Jaggar
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 1989-01-01
The essays in this interdisciplinary collection share the conviction that modern western paradigms of knowledge and reality are gender-biased. Some contributors challenge and revise western conceptions of the body as the domain of the biological and "natural," the enemy of reason, typically associated with women. Others develop a conception of the knowing subject which, in contrast to dominant philosophical conceptions, is social, embodied, interested, and emotional as well as rational, and whose emotions and reason are shaped by her historical context. A final group of papers explores the practical application of these feminist insights in a range of contexts. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Muriel Dimen, Arleen B. Dallery, Eileen O'Neill, Donna Wilshire, Ynestra King, Joan C. Tronto, Lynne S. Arnault, Sondra Farganis, Ruth Berman, Uma Narayan, Rhoda Linton, Donna Perry, Amy Ling, Phyllis Teitelbaum, and Sherry Gorelick. Book jacket.
Author: R. S. Perinbanayagam
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2000
Drawing on ideas from Charles Sanders Peirce, George Herbert Mead, Kenneth Burke, and Mikhail Bakhtin, this work focuses on the centrality of the social act in describing and understanding the beingness of the human individual, situating such acts in dialogic and rhetorical processes. Such processes enable actors to give presence to their selves and, it is claimed, put them into play by using both a logic and a poetic of identity. These arguments are supported by an analysis of everyday conversations, certain inter-personal encounters, and acts of reading and watching sporting engagements.