Judith Butler Study Group: Session 2

Judith Butler Study Group: Session 2


Update: Due to temporary maintenance at Pollyanna 圖書館 Library, the second session of the Judith Butler Study Group (Oct 9, 7–9pm) with Sheila Giffen will be relocated to 236 E Pender Street.


This Fall at Pollyanna 圖書館 Library, 221A, the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice will host a study group on the work of Judith Butler. This six-session study group is convened in anticipation of her academic visit and public lecture at UBC in the Winter of 2019.

Session 2 is facilitated by Sheila Giffen.

Judith Butler, “An Account of Oneself,” “Foucault’s Critical Account of Himself,” Giving an Account of Oneself (2003)
Michel Foucault, “How Much Does it Cost for Reason to Tell the Truth?” Foucault Live (1989)

For access to study materials please email librarian@polly-anna.ca.


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Judith Butler is the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as the Hannah Arendt Chair at The European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland. From 2018–20, Butler will serve as the Vice President of the Modern Languages Association, New York, and from 2020–21 she will serve as the MLA’s President.

Butler rose to prominence in 1990 with Gender Trouble, a book that unearthed and interrogated foundational assumptions of gender in philosophy and feminist theory. Butler’s scholarship challenges the confines of disciplinary thinking, reading across philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literature. Butler is also known for her commitment to political activism and her vocal opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

This study group will engage with Butler’s writings from the last two decades, which advanced from her critical early works on gender and sex to engagements with theories of self, the nation, political agency, and transformative politics. As an exercise in collective learning, this program engages with the Belkin Gallery’s Beginning with the Seventies, a series of four exhibitions that are based upon a multi-year research project investigating the 1970s, an era when social movements of all kinds—feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ and Indigenous rights, access to health services and housing—began to coalesce into models of self-organization that overlapped with the production of art and culture.

No registration is necessary to participate. All sessions of the study group are open to all and free to attend. Each session will be facilitated by study leaders who have selected texts from Butler’s work as primary readings paired alongside supplementary materials.