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Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death

by Judith Butler

The celebrated author of Gender Trouble here redefines Antigone's legacy, recovering her revolutionary significance and liberating it for a progressive feminism and sexual politics. Butler's new interpretation does nothing less than reconceptualize the incest taboo in relation to kinship -- and open up the concept of kinship to cultural change. Antigone, the renowned insurgent from Sophocles's Oedipus, has long been a feminist icon of defiance. But what has remained unclear is whether she escapes from the forms of power that she opposes. Antigone proves to be a more ambivalent figure for feminism than has been acknowledged, since the form of defiance she exemplifies also leads to her death. Butler argues that Antigone represents a form of feminist and sexual agency that is fraught with risk. Moreover, Antigone shows how the constraints of normative kinship unfairly decide what will and will not be a livable life. Butler explores the meaning of Antigone, wondering what forms of kinship might have allowed her to live. Along the way, she considers the works of such philosophers as Hegel, Lacan, and Irigaray. How, she asks, would psychoanalysis have been different if it had taken Antigone -- the "postoedipal" subject -- rather than Oedipus as its point of departure? If the incest taboo is reconceived so that it does not mandate heterosexuality as its solution, what forms of sexual alliance and new kinship might be acknowledged as a result? The book relates the courageous deeds of Antigone to the claims made by those whose relations are still not honored as those of proper kinship, showing how a culture of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capacity to see what sexual freedom and political agency could be.

Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex"

by Judith Butler

The author of "Gender Trouble" further develops her distinctive theory of gender by examining the workings of power at the most material dimensions of sex and sexuality. Butler examines how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the matter of bodies, sex, and gender.

Dispossession: The Performative in the Political

by Judith Butler Athena Athanasiou

Dispossession describes the condition of those who have lost land, citizenship, property, and a broader belonging to the world. This thought-provoking book seeks to elaborate our understanding of dispossession outside of the conventional logic of possession, a hallmark of capitalism, liberalism, and humanism. Can dispossession simultaneously characterize political responses and opposition to the disenfranchisement associated with unjust dispossession of land, economic and political power, and basic conditions for living? In the context of neoliberal expropriation of labor and livelihood, dispossession opens up a performative condition of being both affected by injustice and prompted to act. From the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to the anti-neoliberal gatherings at Puerta del Sol, Syntagma and Zucchotti Park, an alternative political and affective economy of bodies in public is being formed. Bodies on the street are precarious - exposed to police force, they are also standing for, and opposing, their dispossession. These bodies insist upon their collective standing, organize themselves without and against hierarchy, and refuse to become disposable: they demand regard. This book interrogates the agonistic and open-ended corporeality and conviviality of the crowd as it assembles in cities to protest political and economic dispossession through a performative dispossession of the sovereign subject and its propriety.

Is Critique Secular? Blasphemy, Injury and Free Speech

by Judith Butler Talal Asad Wendy Brown Saba Mahmood

Four leading thinkers of our times confront the paradoxes and dilemmas attending the supposed stand-off between Islam and liberal democratic values. Authors inquire into the evaluative frameworks at stake in understanding the conflicts between blasphemy and free speech, between religious taboos and freedoms of thought and expression.

Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism

by Judith Butler

Rethinking the category of aesthetics in light of recent developments in literary theory and social criticism, the contributors to this volume showcase the interpretive possibilities available to those who bring politics, culture, ideology, and conceptions of identity into their critiques.

The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere

by Judith Butler Jonathan Vanantwerpen Eduardo Mendieta Cornel West Charles Taylor Jurgen Habermas

The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while Jürgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of "the political" in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.

Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence

by Judith Butler

Five essays by Butler (rhetoric and comparative literature, U. of California-Berkeley) respond to the conditions of heightened vulnerability and aggression that followed the events of September 11, 2001. They reflect on explanation and exoneration; violence, mourning, and politics; indefinite detention; charges of anti-Semitism; and a non-violent ethics based on an understanding of how easily human life is annulled.

Prejudicial Appearances: The Logic of American Antidiscrimination Law

by Robert C. Post Judith Butler Reva B. Siegel K. Anthony Appiah Thomas C. Grey

In Prejudicial Appearances noted legal scholar Robert C. Post argues modern American antidiscrimination law should not be conceived as protecting the transcendental dignity of individual persons but instead as transforming social practices that define and sustain potentially oppressive categories like race or gender. Arguing that the prevailing logic of American antidiscrimination law is misleading, Post lobbies for deploying sociological understandings to reevaluate the antidiscrimination project in ways that would render the law more effective and just. Four distinguished commentators respond to Post's provocative essay. Each adopts a distinctive perspective. K. Anthony Appiah investigates the philosophical logic of stereotyping and of equality. Questioning whether the law ought to endorse any social practices that define persons, Judith Butler explores the tension between sociological and postmodern approaches to antidiscrimination law. Thomas C. Grey examines whether Post's proposal can be reconciled with the values of the rule of law. And Reva B. Siegel applies critical race theory to query whether antidiscrimination law's reshaping of race and gender should best be understood in terms of practices of subordination and stratification. By illuminating the consequential rhetorical maneuvers at the heart of contemporary U. S. antidiscrimination law, Prejudical Appearances forces readers to reappraise the relationship between courts of law and social behavior. As such, it will enrich scholars interested in the relationships between law, rhetoric, postmodernism, race, and gender.

Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France

by Judith Butler

A new, critically-situated edition of the genre-breaking work that recast modern French thought.

What Does a Jew Want?

by Judith Butler Slavoj Zizek Alain Badiou Udi Aloni

"In this book Udi Aloni, causing a power fault in the ruling liberal attitude by way of short-circuiting different levels of ideology, art, and thought; rewrites the Oedipus myth and rejects liberal Zionism. Who but Aloni can combine the tremendous poetic power of creating new myths with the perspicuous mind of a cold theoretician? Who but Aloni can ground his ruthless critique of Zionism into his unconditional fidelity to the Jewish tradition? If anyone needs a proof that political theology is well and alive, here it is!"--Slavoj ŽižekIn the hopes of promoting justice, peace, and solidarity for and with the Palestine people, Udi Aloni joins with Judith Butler, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek to confront the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Their bold question: Will a new generation of Israelis and Palestinians dare to walk together toward a joint Israel-Palestine? Through a collage of meditation, interview, diary, and essay, Aloni and his interlocutors present a personal, intellectual, and altogether provocative account rich with the insights of philosophy and critical theory. They ultimately foresee the emergence of a binational Israeli-Palestinian state, incorporating the work of Walter Benjamin, Edward Said, and Jacques Derrida-as well as Jewish theology-to recast the conflict in secular theological terms.

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