Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley
Judith Butler is a post-structuralist philosopher and queer theorist. She is most famous for her notion of gender performativity, but her work 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.
She has received countless awards for her teaching and scholarship, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a Rockefeller fellowship, Yale's Brudner Prize, and an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award.
Her books include "Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity," "Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex," "Undoing Gender," and "Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?"
Culture wants masculinity to be absolutely separate from femininity and heterosexuality to be absolutely separate from homosexuality.
I'm not sure we can harness desire into identity in a way that doesn’t do some violence to it.
If I'm looking to find out what is the case with the war and whether the war is legitimate, I'm probably not going to be fully satisfied with the New York Times or theWashington Post or Fox News or CNN.
Is there something left of the human that can’t be dehumanized and what is this power to humanize or to dehumanize?
Cameras are part of war-waging and they’re also part of the way in which a general population assesses what is happening.
The discourse of homosexuality as it becomes more popular makes it more possible for people to become gay or lesbian—but it doesn’t produce homosexuals, says Butler.
Nobody is born one gender or the other, says the philosopher. “We act and walk and speak and talk in ways that consolidate an impression of being a man or […]