Butler Trouble: Queerness and Violence

Talk and discussion with Terrell Carver (University of Bristol, UK) (in English)

Tue 05 December 2017, 7pm
aquarium (Südblock), Skalitzer Str. 6, Berlin-Kreuzberg, U-Kottbusser Tor 

Judith Butler has been received (and acclaimed or denigrated) as a feminist/queer theorist of sexuality, making an influential gendered critique of the supposed biological facticity of the sex binary itself. She has also featured as a public intellectual deploring interpersonal and state-sponsored violence, taking considerable risks in the immediate post-9/11 American context and with the on-going militarised occupations in Israel-Palestine. Her work has had considerable traction in the former area, but relatively little in the latter. Why is this? I suggest that there is not very much queering in Butler’s political work on violence, whereas a queered view of that work – offered here – could take Freud and Nietzsche where Donald Trump fears to tread.

Terrell Carver is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, UK, and co-author (with Samuel Chambers) of the book Butler and Political Theory (2009). He writes and teaches on Engels, Marx, Marxism as well as Gender and Queer Studies.


Talk and discussion are part of the series When does it become violence?2017WannGewalt