Monday, September 17, 2012

Judith Butler's "Merely Cultural"

The CSRG will meet on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 4:30 in CNH 332. We will be discussing Judith Butler's essay "Merely Cultural" [Social Text. 52.3 (Fall/Winter) 1997]. In this important essay, Butler responds to critiques of leftist politics that reduce issues of identity and sexuality to the "merely cultural" realm. Butler moves from examining several forms that this reductive move takes, to arguing for the centrality of categories such as gender to the reproduction of the dominant social relations of capitalism.

Please join us for a collegial discussion of this essay, where we might investigate such issues as the continued relevance of Butler's argument to our contemporary political and cultural situation. How have ideas about identity, culture and politics developed in the fifteen years since this essay was published, and what have been the transformations or afterlives of the tensions Butler describes and addresses? We will also be circulating a sign-up sheet for those interested in nominating texts and leading discussions for future reading group meetings.

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