JUDITH BUTLER (born February 24, 1956) is an American philosopher and
gender theorist whose work has influenced political philosophy ,
ethics and the fields of third-wave feminist , queer and literary
theory . Since 1993, she has taught at the University of California,
Berkeley , where she is now Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department
of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory. She is
Hannah Arendt Chair at the
European Graduate School .
Butler is best known for her books
Feminism and the
Subversion of Identity (1990) and Bodies That Matter: On the
Discursive Limits of Sex (1993), in which she challenges conventional
notions of gender and develops her theory of gender performativity .
This theory has had a major influence on feminist and queer
scholarship. Her works are often implemented in film studies courses
emphasizing gender studies and the performativity in discourse.
Butler has actively supported lesbian and gay rights movements and
has spoken out on many contemporary political issues. In particular,
she is a vocal critic of
Zionism , Israeli politics and its effect
Israeli–Palestinian conflict , emphasizing that
not and should not be taken to represent all
Jews or Jewish opinion.
* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Overview of major works
Performative Acts and
Gender Constitution (1988)
Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)
* 2.3 "Imitation and
Gender Insubordination" (1990)
* 2.4 Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (1993)
* 2.5 Excitable Speech: A Politics of the
* 2.6 Undoing
* 2.7 Giving an Account of Oneself (2005)
* 3 Reception
* 4 Political activism
* 4.1 Adorno Prize affair
* 4.2 Comments on
* 4.3 Comments on
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter
* 5 Personal life
* 6 Selected honors and awards
* 7 Publications
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Judith Butler was born in
Cleveland, Ohio , to a family of
Hungarian-Jewish and Russian-Jewish descent. Most of her maternal
grandmother's family perished in the Holocaust. As a child and
teenager, she attended both
Hebrew school and special classes on
Jewish ethics , where she received her "first training in philosophy".
Butler stated in a 2010 interview with
Haaretz that she began the
ethics classes at the age of 14 and that they were created as a form
of punishment by her Hebrew school's
Rabbi because she was "too
talkative in class". Butler also stated that she was "thrilled" by
the idea of these tutorials, and when asked what she wanted to study
in these special sessions, she responded with three questions
preoccupying her at the time: "Why was
Spinoza excommunicated from the
German Idealism be held accountable for
Nazism ? And
how was one to understand existential theology , including the work of
Martin Buber ?"
Bennington College and then
Yale University where she
studied philosophy, receiving her B.A. in 1978 and her Ph.D. in 1984.
She spent one academic year at
Heidelberg University as a Fulbright
-Scholar. She taught at
Wesleyan University , George Washington
University , and
Johns Hopkins University before joining University of
California, Berkeley , in 1993. In 2002 she held the
Spinoza Chair of
Philosophy at the
University of Amsterdam . In addition, she joined
the department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia
University as Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Visiting Professor of the Humanities
in the spring semesters of 2012, 2013 and 2014 with the option of
remaining as full-time faculty.
Butler serves on the editorial board or advisory board of academic
journals including JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics
and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society .
OVERVIEW OF MAJOR WORKS
PERFORMATIVE ACTS AND GENDER CONSTITUTION (1988)
In this essay,
Judith Butler proposes her theory of gender
performativity , which would be later taken up in 1990 throughout her
Gender Trouble. She begins by basing her theory of gender
performativity on a feminist phenomenological point of view. She
suggests that both phenomenology and feminism ground their theories in
"lived experience". Further, in comparing phenomenologist Maurice
Merleau-Ponty and feminist
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir , Butler argues that
both theories view the sexual body as a historical idea or situation;
she accepts this notion of a "distinction between sex, as biological
facticity, and gender, as the cultural interpretation or signification
of that facticity". This combination of theories is essential for
founding Butler's view of "theatrical" or performative genders in
Butler argues that it is more valid to perceive gender as a
performance in which an individual agent acts. The performative
element of her theory suggests a social audience. For Butler, the
"script" of gender performance is effortlessly transmitted generation
to generation in the form of socially established "meanings": She
states, "gender is not a radical choice... imposed or inscribed upon
the individual". Given the social nature of human beings, most
actions are witnessed, reproduced, and internalized and thus take on a
performative or theatric quality. Currently, the actions appropriate
for men and women have been transmitted to produce a social atmosphere
that both maintains and legitimizes a seemingly natural gender binary.
Consistently with her acceptance of the body as a historical idea,
she suggests that our concept of gender is seen as natural or innate
because the body "becomes its gender through a series of acts which
are renewed, revised, and consolidated through time".
Butler argues that the performance of gender itself creates gender.
Additionally, she compares the performativity of gender to the
performance of the theater. She brings many similarities, including
the idea of each individual functioning as an actor of their gender.
However she also brings into light a critical difference between
gender performance in reality and theater performances. She explains
how the theater is much less threatening and does not produce the same
fear that gender performances often encounter because of the fact that
there is a clear distinction from reality within the theater.
Sigmund Freud 's notion of how a person's identity is
modeled in terms of the normal. She revises Freud's notion of this
concept's applicability to lesbianism, where Freud says that lesbians
are modeling their behavior on men, the perceived normal or ideal. She
instead says that all gender works in this way of performativity and a
representing of an internalized notion of gender norms.
GENDER TROUBLE: FEMINISM AND THE SUBVERSION OF IDENTITY (1990)
Gender Trouble was first published in 1990, selling over 100,000
copies internationally and in different languages. Alluding to the
similarly named 1974 John Waters film
Female Trouble starring the drag
queen Divine ,
Gender Trouble critically discusses the works of
Freud, de Beauvoir,
Julia Kristeva ,
Jacques Lacan ,
Luce Irigaray ,
Monique Wittig ,
Jacques Derrida , and, most significantly, Michel
Foucault . The book has enjoyed widespread popularity outside of
traditional academic circles, even inspiring an intellectual fanzine,
The crux of Butler's argument in
Gender Trouble is that the coherence
of the categories of sex, gender , and sexuality—the natural-seeming
coherence, for example, of masculine gender and heterosexual desire in
male bodies—is culturally constructed through the repetition of
stylized acts in time. These stylized bodily acts, in their
repetition, establish the appearance of an essential, ontological
"core" gender. This is the sense in which Butler theorizes gender,
along with sex and sexuality, as performative . The performance of
gender, sex, and sexuality, however, is not a voluntary choice for
Butler, who locates the construction of the gendered, sexed, desiring
subject within what she calls, borrowing from Foucault's Discipline
and Punish , "regulative discourses ." These, also called "frameworks
of intelligibility" or "disciplinary regimes," decide in advance what
possibilities of sex, gender, and sexuality are socially permitted to
appear as coherent or "natural." Regulative discourse includes within
it disciplinary techniques which, by coercing subjects to perform
specific stylized actions, maintain the appearance in those subjects
of the "core" gender, sex and sexuality the discourse itself produces.
A significant yet sometimes overlooked part of Butler's argument
concerns the role of sex in the construction of "natural" or coherent
gender and sexuality. Butler explicitly challenges biological accounts
of binary sex, reconceiving the sexed body as itself culturally
constructed by regulative discourse. The supposed obviousness of sex
as a natural biological fact attests to how deeply its production in
discourse is concealed. The sexed body, once established as a
"natural" and unquestioned "fact," is the alibi for constructions of
gender and sexuality, unavoidably more cultural in their appearance,
which can purport to be the just-as-natural expressions or
consequences of a more fundamental sex. On Butler's account, it is on
the basis of the construction of natural binary sex that binary gender
and heterosexuality are likewise constructed as natural. In this way,
Butler claims that without a critique of sex as produced by discourse,
the sex/gender distinction as a feminist strategy for contesting
constructions of binary asymmetric gender and compulsory
heterosexuality will be ineffective.
Thus, by showing the terms "gender" and "sex" as socially and
culturally constructed, Butler offers a critique of both terms, even
as they have been used by feminists. Butler argued that feminism made
a mistake in trying to make "women" a discrete, ahistorical group with
common characteristics. Butler said this approach reinforces the
binary view of gender relations because it allows for two distinct
categories: men and women. Butler believes that feminists should not
try to define "women" and she also believes that feminists should
"focus on providing an account of how power functions and shapes our
understandings of womanhood not only in the society at large but also
within the feminist movement." Finally, Butler aims to break the
supposed links between sex and gender so that gender and desire can be
"flexible, free floating and not caused by other stable factors". The
idea of identity as free and flexible and gender as a performance, not
an essence, is one of the foundations of
Queer theory .
"IMITATION AND GENDER INSUBORDINATION" (1990)
Judith Butler explores the production of identities such as
"homosexual" and "heterosexual" and the limiting nature of identity
categories. An identity category for her is a result of certain
exclusions and concealments, and thus a site of regulation. However,
Butler also acknowledges that categorized identities are important for
political action at present times. An important idea in this work is
also that identity forms through repetition of acts or imitation and
not due to a certain original identity that exists prior to
repetition. Imitation gives the illusion of continuity to produce
identities. In the same way, heterosexual identity, which is set up as
an ideal, requires constant "compulsive" repetition to protect the
very identity repetition has created.
BODIES THAT MATTER: ON THE DISCURSIVE LIMITS OF "SEX" (1993)
Bodies That Matter seeks to clear up readings and supposed
misreadings of performativity that view the enactment of sex/gender as
a daily choice. To do this, Butler emphasizes the role of repetition
in performativity, making use of
Derrida 's theory of iterability, a
form of citationality , to work out a theory of performativity in
terms of iterability:
Performativity cannot be understood outside of a process of
iterability, a regularized and constrained repetition of norms. And
this repetition is not performed by a subject; this repetition is what
enables a subject and constitutes the temporal condition for the
subject. This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular
'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under
and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and
taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and
compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist,
determining it fully in advance.
This concept is linked to Butler's discussion of performativity.
Iterability, in its endless undeterminedness as to-be-determinedness,
is thus precisely that aspect of performativity that makes the
production of the "natural" sexed, gendered, heterosexual subject
possible, while also and at the same time opening that subject up to
the possibility of its incoherence and contestation.
EXCITABLE SPEECH: A POLITICS OF THE PERFORMATIVE (1997)
Performativity § Judith Butler\'s perspective on
In Excitable Speech, Butler surveys the problems of hate speech and
censorship. She argues that censorship is difficult to evaluate, and
that in some cases it may be useful or even necessary, while in others
it may be worse than tolerance.
Butler argues that hate speech exists retrospectively, only after
being declared such by state authorities. In this way, the state
reserves for itself the power to define hate speech and, conversely,
the limits of acceptable discourse. In this connection, Butler
criticizes feminist legal scholar
Catharine MacKinnon 's argument
against pornography for its unquestioning acceptance of the state's
power to censor.
Deploying Foucault 's argument from the first volume of The History
of Sexuality , Butler claims that any attempt at censorship, legal or
otherwise, necessarily propagates the very language it seeks to
forbid. As Foucault argues, for example, the strict sexual mores of
19th century Western Europe did nothing but amplify the discourse of
sexuality they sought to control. Extending this argument using
Derrida and Lacan , Butler claims that censorship is primitive to
language, and that the linguistic I is a mere effect of an originary
censorship. In this way, Butler questions the possibility of any
genuinely oppositional discourse; "If speech depends upon censorship,
then the principle that one might seek to oppose is at once the
formative principle of oppositional speech".
UNDOING GENDER (2004)
Gender collects Butler's reflections on gender, sex,
sexuality, psychoanalysis and the medical treatment of intersex people
for a more general readership than many of her other books. Butler
revisits and refines her notion of performativity and focuses on the
question of undoing "restrictively normative conceptions of sexual and
Butler discusses how gender is performed without one being conscious
of it, but says that it does not mean this performativity is
"automatic or mechanical". She argues that we have desires that do not
originate from our personhood, but rather, from social norms. The
writer also debates our notions of "human" and "less-than-human" and
how these culturally imposed ideas can keep one from having a "viable
life" as the biggest concerns are usually about whether a person will
be accepted if his or her desires differ from normality. She states
that one may feel the need of being recognized in order to live, but
that at the same time, the conditions to be recognized make life
"unlivable". The writer proposes an interrogation of such conditions
so that people who resist them may have more possibilities of living.
In her discussion of intersex, Butler addresses the case of David
Reimer , a person whose sex was medically "reassigned" from male to
female after a botched circumcision at eight months of age. Reimer was
"made" female by doctors, but later in life identified as "really"
male, married and became a stepfather to his wife's three children,
and went on to tell his story in As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was
Raised as a Girl, which he wrote with John Colapinto. Reimer committed
suicide in 2004.
GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF ONESELF (2005)
In Giving an Account of Oneself, Butler develops an ethics based on
the opacity of the subject to itself; in other words, the limits of
self-knowledge. Primarily borrowing from
Theodor Adorno , Michel
Friedrich Nietzsche ,
Jean Laplanche ,
Adriana Cavarero and
Emmanuel Levinas , Butler develops a theory of the formation of the
subject. She theorizes the subject in relation to the social – a
community of others and their norms – which is beyond the control of
the subject it forms, as precisely the very condition of that
subject's formation, the resources by which the subject becomes
recognizably human, a grammatical "I", in the first place.
Butler accepts the claim that if the subject is opaque to itself the
limitations of its free ethical responsibility and obligations are due
to the limits of narrative, presuppositions of language and
You may think that I am in fact telling a story about the prehistory
of the subject, one that I have been arguing cannot be told. There are
two responses to this objection. (1) That there is no final or
adequate narrative reconstruction of the prehistory of the speaking
"I" does not mean we cannot narrate it; it only means that at the
moment when we narrate we become speculative philosophers or fiction
writers. (2) This prehistory has never stopped happening and, as such,
is not a prehistory in any chronological sense. It is not done with,
over, relegated to a past, which then becomes part of a causal or
narrative reconstruction of the self. On the contrary, that prehistory
interrupts the story I have to give of myself, makes every account of
myself partial and failed, and constitutes, in a way, my failure to be
fully accountable for my actions, my final "irresponsibility," one for
which I may be forgiven only because I could not do otherwise. This
not being able to do otherwise is our common predicament (page 78).
Instead she argues for an ethics based precisely on the limits of
self-knowledge as the limits of responsibility itself. Any concept of
responsibility which demands the full transparency of the self to
itself, an entirely accountable self, necessarily does violence to the
opacity which marks the constitution of the self it addresses. The
scene of address by which responsibility is enabled is always already
a relation between subjects who are variably opaque to themselves and
to each other. The ethics that Butler envisions is therefore one in
which the responsible self knows the limits of its knowing, recognizes
the limits of its capacity to give an account of itself to others, and
respects those limits as symptomatically human. To take seriously
one's opacity to oneself in ethical deliberation means then to
critically interrogate the social world in which one comes to be human
in the first place and which remains precisely that which one cannot
know about oneself. In this way, Butler locates social and political
critique at the core of ethical practice.
Butler receives the
Theodor W. Adorno Award in 2012
Butler's work has been influential in feminist and queer theory,
cultural studies , and continental philosophy . Yet her contribution
to a range of other disciplines — such as psychoanalysis , literary,
film, and performance studies as well as visual arts — has also been
significant. Her theory of gender performativity as well as her
conception of "critically queer" have not only transformed
understandings of gender and queer identity in the academic world, but
have shaped and mobilized various kinds of political activism,
particularly queer activism, across the globe. Butler's work has
also entered into contemporary debates on the teaching of gender, gay
parenting, and the depathologization of transgender people. Before
election to the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI wrote several pages
challenging Butler's arguments on gender. In several countries,
Butler became the symbol of the destruction of traditional gender
roles for reactionary movements. This was particularly the case in
France during the anti-gay marriage protests.
Bruno Perreau has shown
that Butler was literally depicted as an "antichrist", both because of
her gender and her Jewish identity, the fear of minority politics and
critical studies being expressed through fantasies of a corrupted
Some academics and political activists maintain that Butler’s
radical departure from the sex/gender dichotomy and her
non-essentialist conception of gender — along with her insistence
that power helps form the subject — revolutionized feminist and
queer praxis, thought, and studies. Darin Barney of McGill University
Butler's work on gender, sex, sexuality, queerness, feminism, bodies,
political speech and ethics has changed the way scholars all over the
world think, talk and write about identity, subjectivity, power and
politics. It has also changed the lives of countless people whose
bodies, genders, sexualities and desires have made them subject to
violence, exclusion and oppression.
Others scholars have been more critical. In 1998,
Denis Dutton 's
journal Philosophy and Literature awarded Butler first prize in its
fourth annual "Bad Writing Competition," which set out to "celebrate
bad writing from the most stylistically lamentable passages found in
scholarly books and articles." Her unwitting entry, which ran in a
1997 issue of the scholarly journal
Diacritics , ran thus:
The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood
to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view
of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition,
convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality
into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of
Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical
objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility
of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up
with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of
Some critics have accused Butler of elitism due to her difficult
prose style, while others claim that she reduces gender to "discourse"
or promotes a form of gender voluntarism.
Susan Bordo , for example,
has argued that Butler reduces gender to language, contending that the
body is a major part of gender, thus implicitly opposing Butler's
conception of gender as performed. A particularly vocal critic has
been liberal feminist
Martha Nussbaum , who has argued that Butler
J.L. Austin 's idea of performative utterance, makes
erroneous legal claims, forecloses an essential site of resistance by
repudiating pre-cultural agency, and provides no normative ethical
theory to direct the subversive performances that Butler endorses.
Nancy Fraser 's critique of Butler was part of a famous
exchange between the two theorists. Fraser has suggested that Butler's
focus on performativity distances her from "everyday ways of talking
and thinking about ourselves. Why should we use such a
Butler responded to criticisms of her prose in the preface to her
More recently, several critics—most prominently, Viviane Namaste
—have criticised Judith Butler’s Undoing
under-emphasizing the intersectional aspects of gender-based violence.
For example, Timothy Laurie notes that Butler's use of phrases like
"gender politics" and "gender violence" in relation to assaults on
transgender individuals in the United States can " a landscape filled
with class and labour relations, racialised urban stratification, and
complex interactions between sexual identity, sexual practices and sex
work", and produce instead "a clean surface on which struggles over
'the human' are imagined to play out". Nevertheless, both Namaste and
Laurie acknowledge the enduring importance of Butler's critical
contributions to the study of gender identities.
Much of Butler's early political activism centered around queer and
feminist issues, and she served, for a period of time, as the chair of
the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
. Over the years, she has been particularly active in the gay and
lesbian rights, feminist, and anti-war movements. She has also
written and spoken out on issues ranging from affirmative action and
gay marriage to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prisoners
detained at Guantanamo Bay. More recently, she has been active in the
Occupy movement and has publicly expressed support for a version of
the 2005 BDS (
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions ) campaign against
On September 7, 2006, Butler participated in a faculty-organized
teach-in against the
2006 Lebanon War at the University of California,
Berkeley. Another widely publicized moment occurred in June 2010,
when Butler refused the Civil Courage Award (Zivilcouragepreis) of the
Christopher Street Day (CSD) Parade in Berlin, Germany at the award
ceremony. She cited racist comments on the part of organizers and a
general failure of CSD organizations to distance themselves from
racism in general and from anti-Muslim excuses for war more
specifically. Criticizing the event's commercialism, she went on to
name several groups that she commended as stronger opponents of
"homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and militarism".
In October 2011, Butler attended
Occupy Wall Street and, in reference
to calls for clarification of the protesters' demands, she said:
People have asked, so what are the demands? What are the demands all
of these people are making? Either they say there are no demands and
that leaves your critics confused, or they say that the demands for
social equality and economic justice are impossible demands. And the
impossible demands, they say, are just not practical. If hope is an
impossible demand, then we demand the impossible – that the right to
shelter, food and employment are impossible demands, then we demand
the impossible. If it is impossible to demand that those who profit
from the recession redistribute their wealth and cease their greed,
then yes, we demand the impossible. Achille Mbembe, Wendy
Brown, Judith Butler, and David Theo-Goldberg in 2016
She is currently an executive member of the Faculty for
Israeli-Palestinian Peace in the United States and The Jenin Theatre
in Palestine. She is also a member of the advisory board of Jewish
Voice for Peace .
ADORNO PRIZE AFFAIR
When Butler received the 2012 Adorno Prize , the prize committee came
under attack from Israel's Ambassador to Germany Yakov
Hadas-Handelsman, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office
Efraim Zuroff , and the German Central Council of Jews.
They were upset at Butler's selection because of her remarks about
Israel and specifically her "calls for a boycott against Israel".
Butler responded saying that "she did not take attacks from German
Jewish leaders personally". Rather, she wrote, the attacks are
"directed against everyone who is critical against
Israel and its
In a letter to the
Mondoweiss website, Butler asserted that she
developed strong ethical views on the basis of Jewish philosophical
thought and that it is "blatantly untrue, absurd, and painful for
anyone to argue that those who formulate a criticism of the State of
Israel is anti-Semitic or, if Jewish, self-hating".
COMMENTS ON HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH
Butler was criticized for statements she had made about
Hezbollah . She had described them as "social movements that are
progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left".
She was accused of defending "
Hamas as progressive
organizations" and supporting their tactics.
Butler responded to these criticisms by stating that her remarks on
Hezbollah were taken completely out of context and badly, if
not wittingly, distort her established views on non-violence. She has
repeatedly condemned the violence and non-democratic actions of these
groups while clearly advocating a politics committed to non-violence.
Butler describes the origin of her remarks on
the following way:
I was asked by a member of an academic audience a few years ago
whether I thought
Hezbollah belonged to "the global left"
and I replied with two points. My first point was merely descriptive:
those political organizations define themselves as anti-imperialist,
and anti-imperialism is one characteristic of the global left, so on
that basis one could describe them as part of the global left. My
second point was then critical: as with any group on the left, one has
to decide whether one is for that group or against that group, and one
needs to critically evaluate their stand.
COMMENTS ON BLACK LIVES MATTER
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In a January 2015 interview with
George Yancy of
The New York Times ,
Butler discussed the
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter movement. The dialogue draws
heavily on her 2004 book Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and
Butler lives in Berkeley with her partner Wendy Brown and son, Issac.
SELECTED HONORS AND AWARDS
Butler has had a visiting appointment at Birkbeck, University of
* 2014: Named one of PinkNews’s top 11 Jewish gay and lesbian
* 2014: Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa, University of Fribourg
* 2013: Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa, University of St.
* 2013: Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa, McGill University
Theodor W. Adorno Award
* 2010: "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World",
* 2008: Mellon Award for her exemplary contributions to scholarship
in the humanities.
* 1999: Guggenheim Fellowship
All of Butler's books have been translated into numerous languages;
Gender Trouble, alone, has been translated into twenty-seven different
languages. In addition, she has co-authored and edited over a dozen
volumes — the most recent of which is Dispossession: The
Performative in the Political (2013), coauthored with Athena
Athanasiou. Over the years she has also published many influential
essays, interviews, and public presentations. Butler is considered by
many as "one of the most influential voices in contemporary political
theory," and as the most widely read and influential gender theorist
in the world.
The following is a partial list of Butler's publications.
* Butler, Judith (1999) . Subjects of desire: Hegelian reflections
in twentieth-century France . New York:
Columbia University Press.
ISBN 9780231159982 .
* Butler, Judith (2006) .
Gender trouble: feminism and the
subversion of identity . New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415389556 .
* Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies that matter: on the discursive
limits of "sex". New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415903653 .
* Butler, Judith; Benhabib, Seyla ; Fraser, Nancy ; Cornell,
Drucilla (1995). Feminist contentions: a philosophical exchange. New
York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415910866 .
* Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable speech: a politics of the
performative. New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780415915878 .
* Butler, Judith (1997). The psychic life of power: theories in
subjection. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN
* Butler, Judith (2000). Antigone's claim kinship between life and
death. New York:
Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231518048 .
* Butler, Judith; Laclau, Ernesto ; Žižek, Slavoj (2000).
Contingency, hegemony, universality: contemporary dialogues on the
left . London: Verso. ISBN 9781859842782 .
* Butler, Judith; Beck-Gernsheim, Elisabeth ; Puigvert, Lídia
(2003). Women & social transformation. New York: P. Lang. ISBN
* Butler, Judith (2004). Precarious life: the powers of mourning and
violence. London New York: Verso. ISBN 9781844675449 .
* Butler, Judith (2004). Undoing gender . New York/London:
Routledge. ISBN 9780203499627 .
* Butler, Judith (2005). Giving an account of oneself. New York:
Fordham University Press. ISBN 9780823246779 .
* Butler, Judith; Spivak, Gayatri (2007). Who sings the
nation-state?: language, politics, belonging. London New York: Seagull
Books. ISBN 9781905422579 .
* Butler, Judith; Asad, Talal; Brown, Wendy; Mahmood, Saba (2009).
Is critique secular?: blasphemy, injury, and free speech. Berkeley,
California: Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of
California Distributed by University of California Press. ISBN
* Butler, Judith (2009). Frames of war: when is life grievable?.
London New York: Verso. ISBN 9781844673339 .
* Butler, Judith; Habermas, Jürgen ; Taylor, Charles ; West, Cornel
(2011). The power of religion in the public sphere. New York: Columbia
University Press. ISBN 9781283008921 .
* Butler, Judith; Weed, Elizabeth (2011). The question of gender
Joan W. Scott's critical feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University
Press. ISBN 9780253001535 .
* Butler, Judith (2012). Parting ways: Jewishness and the critique
of Zionism. New York:
Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231517959 .
* Butler, Judith; Athanasiou, Athena (2013). Dispossession: the
performative in the political. Cambridge, UK Malden, Massachusetts:
Polity Press. ISBN 9780745653815 .
* Butler, Judith (2015). Senses of the subject. New York: Fordham
University Press. ISBN 9780823264674 .
* Butler, Judith (2015). Notes toward a performative theory of
assembly. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN
* Butler, Judith (1982), "Lesbian S & M: the politics of
dis-illusion", in Linden, Robin Ruth, Against sadomasochism: a radical
feminist analysis , East Palo Alto, California: Frog in the Well, ISBN
* Butler, Judith (1990), "The pleasures of repetition", in Glick,
Robert A.; Bone, Stanley, Pleasure beyond the pleasure principle: the
role of affect in motivation, development, and adaptation, New Haven:
Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300047936 .
* Butler, Judith (1991), "Imitation and gender insubordination", in
Fuss, Diana, Inside/out: lesbian theories, gay theories, New York:
Routledge, ISBN 9780415902373 .
* Butler, Judith (1997), "Imitation and gender insubordination", in
Nicholson, Linda, The second wave: a reader in feminist theory, New
York: Routledge, pp. 300–316, ISBN 9780415917612 .
* Butler, Judith (1997), "
Gender is burning: questions of
appropriation and subversion", in McClintock, Anne ; Mufti, Aamir;
Shohat, Ella , Dangerous liaisons: gender, nation, and postcolonial
perspectives, Minnesota, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,
pp. 381–395, ISBN 9780816626496 .
* Butler, Judith (2001), "Sexual difference as a question of
ethics", in Doyle, Laura, Bodies of resistance: new phenomenologies of
politics, agency, and culture, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern
University Press, ISBN 9780810118478 .
* Butler, Judith (2001), ""Appearances aside"", in Post, Robert ,
Prejudicial appearances: the logic of American antidiscrimination law,
Durham, North Carolina:
Duke University Press
Duke University Press , pp. 73–84, ISBN
* Butler, Judith (1993), "Kierkegaard's speculative despair", in
Solomon, Robert C. ; Higgins, Kathleen M., The age of German idealism,
Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume VI, London New York:
Routledge, pp. 363–395, ISBN 9780415308786 .
* Butler, Judith (2005), "Subjects of sex/gender/desire", in Cudd,
Ann ; Andreasen, Robin O., Feminist theory: a philosophical anthology,
Oxford, UK Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 145–153,
ISBN 9781405116619 .
* Butler, Judith (2009), "Ronell as gay scientist", in Davis, Diane,
Reading Ronell, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, ISBN
9780252076473 . A collection of essays on the work of
Avital Ronell .
* Blanchet, Nassia; Blanchet, Reginald (3 April 2010). "Interview
with Judith Butler". Hurly-Burly: The International Lacanian Journal
Psychoanalysis . New Lacanian School. 3.
* Butler, Judith (2011), "Lecture notes", in Ronell, Avital;
Joubert, Joseph, Georges Perros (Issue 983 of Collection Europe),
Paris: Europe, ISBN 9782351500385 . Details.
* ^ Ryzik, Melena (22 August 2012). "
Pussy Riot Was Carefully
Calibrated for Protest".
The New York Times . Retrieved 23 August
* ^ Halberstam, Jack. "An audio overview of queer theory in English
and Turkish by Jack Halberstam". Retrieved 29 May 2014.
* ^ A B Kearns, Gerry (2013). "The Butler affair and the
geopolitics of identity". Environment and Planning D: Society and
Space. 31: 191–207. doi :10.1068/d1713 .
* ^ "Judith Butler, European Graduate School". Retrieved 14 July
* ^ Thulin, Lesley (19 April 2012). "Feminist theorist Judith
Butler rethinks kinship". Columbia Spectator. Retrieved 9 October
* ^ A B "Judith Butler". McGill Reporter. McGill. Retrieved 9
* ^ Gans, Chaim (December 13, 2013). "Review of Judith Butler\'s
"Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism"". Notre Dame
Philosophical Reviews. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
* ^ "US-Philosophin Butler:
Israel vertritt mich nicht". Der
Standard . 15 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
* ^ A B C Maclay, Kathleen (March 19, 2009). "
Judith Butler wins
UC Berkeley News. Media Relations. Retrieved March 1,
* ^ Regina Michalik (May 2001). "Interview with Judith Butler".
Lola Press. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
* ^ A B Udi, Aloni (24 February 2010). "Judith Butler: As a Jew, I
was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up". Haaretz.
Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ "
Judith Butler and Michael Roth: A Conversation at Wesleyan
University\'s Center for Humanities". Wesleyan University.
* ^ "Tanner Lecture on Human Values: 2004–2005 Lecture Series".
UC Berkeley. March 2005. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
* ^ Eva von Redecker: Zur Aktualität von Judith Butler. Einleitung
in ihr Werk. Wiesbaden 2011, S. 22.
* ^ "
Judith Butler to Join Columbia U. as a Visiting Professor".
Chronicle of Higher Education
Chronicle of Higher Education . October 20, 2010. Retrieved February
* ^ Woolfe, Zachary (October 10, 2010). "Professor trouble!
Judith Butler headed to Columbia". New York,
Capital New York . Retrieved February 1, 2011.
* ^ http://socialdifference.columbia.edu/people/judith-butler
* ^ "JAC Online Editorial Staff". www.jaconlinejournal.com.
* ^ "Masthead". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.
2012-08-22. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
* ^ A B C D E Butler, Judith (1988). "
Performative Acts and Gender
Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory". Theatre
Journal Vol. 40 No. 4, pp.519 - 531.
* ^ Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan. Literary Theory: An Anthology.
2nd ed. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Pub., 2004. Print.
* ^ Butler, Judith (1999) .
Feminism and the
Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. xxviii–xxix. ISBN
* ^ Larissa MacFarquhar, "Putting the Camp Back into Campus,"
Lingua Franca (September/October 1993); see also Judith Butler,
"Decamping," Lingua Franca (November–December 1993).
* ^ Butler explicitly formulates her theory of performativity in
the final pages of
Gender Trouble, specifically in the final section
of her chapter "Subversive Bodily Acts" entitled "Bodily Inscriptions,
Performative Subversions" and elaborates performativity in relation to
the question of political agency in her conclusion, "From Parody to
Politics." See Butler, Judith (1999) .
the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 171–90. ISBN
* ^ For Butler's critique of biological accounts of sexual
difference as a ruse for the cultural construction of "natural" sex,
see Butler, Judith (1999) . "Concluding Unscientific Postscript".
Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York:
Routledge. pp. 135–41. ISBN 84-493-2030-5 .
* ^ For Butler's discussion of the performative co-construction of
sex and gender see Butler, Judith (1999) .
Gender Trouble: Feminism
and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 163–71,
177–8. ISBN 84-493-2030-5 . The signification of sex is also
addressed in connection with
Monique Wittig in the section "Monique
Wittig: Bodily Disintegrations and Fictive Sex," pp. 141–63
* ^ For Butler's problematization of the sex/gender distinction see
Butler, Judith (1999) .
Feminism and the Subversion of
Identity. New York: Routledge. pp. 9–11, 45–9. ISBN 84-493-2030-5
* ^ "Judith Butler". Oxford reference Online Premium.
* ^ "Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender". Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
* ^ Butler, Judith. "Imitation and
Cultural theory and popular culture: A reader 1 (2006): 255.
* ^ For example, Jeffreys, Sheila (September–October 1994). "The
queer disappearance of lesbians: Sexuality in the academy". Women\'s
Studies International Forum .
Elsevier . 17 (5): 459–472. doi
* ^ Butler, Judith (1993). Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive
Limits of "Sex". New York: Routledge. p. 95. ISBN 0-415-90365-3 .
* ^ Jagger, Gill (2008). Judith Butler: Sexual politics, social
change and the power of the performative. New York: Routledge. pp.
115–8. ISBN 978-0-415-21975-4 .
* ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the
Performative. New York: Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-91588-0 .
Similarly, MacKinnon's appeal to the state to construe pornogra- phy
as performative speech and, hence, as the injurious conduct ofrep-
resentation, does not settle the theoretical question of the relation
between representation and conduct, but collapses the distinction in
order to enhance the power of state intervention over graphic sexual
* ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the
Performative. New York: Routledge. pp. 129–33. ISBN 0-415-91588-0 .
* ^ For example, Foucault, Michel (1990) . The History of
Sexuality: An Introduction. Vol 1. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York:
Vintage. p. 23. A censorship of sex? There was installed rather an
apparatus for producing an ever greater quantity of discourse about
sex, capable of functioning and taking effect in its very economy.
* ^ Butler, Judith (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the
Performative. New York: Routledge. p. 140. ISBN 0-415-91588-0 .
* ^ Butler, Judith (2004). Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge
* ^ Colapinto, J (June 3, 2004). "
Gender Gap: What were the real
reasons behind David Reimer\'s suicide?". Slate . Retrieved February
* ^ A B Aránguiz, Francisco; Carmen Luz Fuentes-Vásquez; Manuela
Mercado; Allison Ramay; Juan Pablo Vilches (June 2011). "Meaningful
"Protests" in the Kitchen: An Interview with Judith Butler" (PDF).
White Rabbit: English Studies in Latin America. 1. Retrieved 9 October
* ^ Butler, Judith. "Judith Butler\'s Statement on the Queer
Palestinian Activists Tour". alQaws for Sexual &
Gender Diversity in
Palestinian Society. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Butler, Judith (September 2011). "Bodies in Alliance and the
Politics of the Street". European Institute for Progressive Cultural
Policies (eipcp). Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Butler, Judith (May 2010). "Queer Alliance and Anti-War
Politics". War Resisters' International (WRI). Retrieved 9 October
* ^ Saar, Tsafi (21 February 2013). "Fifty shades of gay: Amalia
Ziv explains why her son calls her 'Dad'". Haaretz.
* ^ McRobbie, Angela (18 January 2009). "The pope doth protest".
The Guardian. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Bruno Perreau, Queer Theory: The French Response, Stanford
University Press, 2016, p. 58-59 and 75-81.
* ^ Rottenberg, Catherine (27 August 2003). "Judith Butler". The
Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Barney, Darin. "In Defense of Judith Butler". Huffington Post.
Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ A B Dutton, Denis (1998). "Bad Writing Contest".
* ^ Hekman, Susan (1998). "Material Bodies." Body and Flesh: a
Philosophical Reader ed. by Donn Welton. Blackwell Publishing. pp.
* ^ The Professor Parody Archived August 3, 2007, at the Wayback
* ^ Fraser, Nancy (1995). "False Antitheses." In Seyla Benhabib,
Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and
Nancy Fraser (eds.), Feminist
Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. Routledge. p. 67.
* ^ Margaret Soenser Breen 2 and Warren J. Blumenfeld,3 4 with
Susanna Baer, Robert Alan Brookey, Lynda Hall, Vicky Kirby, Diane
Helene Miller, Robert Shail, and Natalie Wilson. "There is A Person
Here"1 : An Interview with
Judith Butler International Journal of
Gender Studies. Vol. 6, No. 1/2, 2001.
* ^ Namaste, Viviane. 2009. "Undoing Theory: The "Transgender
Question" and the Epistemic Violence of Anglo-American Feminist
Theory." Hypatia 24 (3):pp. 11-32.
* ^ Laurie, Timothy (2014), "The
Ethics of Nobody I Know: Gender
and the Politics of Description", Qualitative Research Journal, 14
* ^ "Coming attractions for fall 2006". UC Berkeley. Retrieved 6
* ^ Butler, Judith. I must distance myself from this complicity
with racism (Video)
Christopher Street Day 'Civil Courage Prize' Day
Refusal Speech. June 19, 2010.
* ^ A B C D Butler, Judith (27 August 2012). "Judith Butler
responds to attack: \'I affirm a Judaism that is not associated with
state violence\'". Mondoweiss. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Envoy to Germany: Awardee ignores terror on Israel
* ^ German
Jews oppose award for US philosopher
* ^ Frankfurt Ripped for Honoring Jewish American scholar who backs
* ^ JTA (7 September 2012). "Frankfurt ripped for honoring
Jewish-American scholar who backs
Israel boycott". Haaretz. Retrieved
9 October 2013.
* ^ Petra Marquardt-Bigman, "Defending
Judith Butler in The Ivory
Tower", The Algemeiner Journal, September 7, 2012.
* ^ Weinthal, Benjamin (26 August 2012). "Frankfurt to award US
Israel boycott". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 9 October
* ^ Illouz, Eva (20 September 2012). "
Judith Butler gets a taste of
her own politics". Haaretz. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ "Willing the impossible: an interview with Judith Butler". Open
Democracy. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* ^ Yancy, George; Butler, Judith (12 January 2015). "What\'s Wrong
With \'All Lives Matter\'?". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved
7 March 2015.
* ^ http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/06/judith-butler-c-v-r.html
* ^ "Birkbeck, Department of Psychosocial Studies". Visiting
Academics. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
* ^ "La philosophe américaine
Judith Butler honorée à Fribourg".
laliberte.ch. La Liberté. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
* ^ "HONORANDS FROM 2007-2014" (PDF). University of St Andrews.
Retrieved 18 November 2014.
* ^ McGill Reporter. "Judith Butler, Doctor of Letters, honoris
causa BA, MA MPhil, PhD (Yale University) Faculty of Arts, Thursday,
May 30, 10 a.m". McGill Reporter. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
* ^ Smith, Amelia (August 28, 2012). "
Judith Butler wins Theodor
Adorno Prize despite opponents". Middle East Monitor.
* ^ "Judith Butler: War Empathizer". Retrieved October 19, 2010.
* ^ "03.19.2009 -
Judith Butler wins Mellon Award".
www.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-20.
* ^ Barker, Derek W.M. (2009), "Judith Butler's postmodern
antigone", in Barker, Derek W.M., Tragedy and citizenship conflict,
reconciliation, and democracy from Haemon to Hegel, Albany: State
University of New York Press , p. 119, ISBN 9780791477403 .
* ^ Ian, Buchanan (2010). A Dictionary of Critical Theory. Oxford
University Press. ISBN 9780191726590 . Retrieved 9 October 2013.
* Chambers, Samuel A. and Terrell Carver. ''
Judith Butler and
Political Theory: Troubling Politics. New York: Routledge, 2008. ISBN
* Cheah, Pheng, "Mattering," Diacritics, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring
1996, pp. 108–139.
* Karhu, Sanna (2017). From Violence to Resistance: Judith
Butler’s Critique of Norms (Ph.D. thesis). University of Helsinki.
ISBN 978-951-51-3647-3 .
* Kirby, Vicki. Judith Butler: Live Theory. London: Continuum, 2006.
* Eldred, Michael, \'Metaphysics of Feminism: A Critical Note on
Gender Trouble\' 2008.
* Evans, Adrienne; Riley, Sarah; Shankar, Avi (2010). "Technologies
of sexiness: theorizing women\'s engagement in the sexualization of
Feminism & Psychology. 20: 114–131. doi
:10.1177/0959353509351854 . From the paper's abstract: In this paper
we contribute to these debates by presenting ‘technologies of
sexiness’, a theoretical framework that draws on Foucauldian
theorizing of technologies of the self and Butler’s work on
* Kulick, Don (April 2003). "No". Language & Communication. Elsevier
. 23 (2): 139–151. doi :10.1016/S0271-5309(02)00043-5 . Pdf.
Considers performativity from a linguistic perspective.
* Perreau, Bruno . Queer Theory: The French Response, Stanford, CA,
Stanford University Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-503-60044-7
* Salih, Sarah. The