Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex

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Taylor & Francis, 2011 - 256 pages
3 Reviews
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In Bodies That Matter, renowned theorist and philosopher Judith Butler argues that theories of gender need to return to the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body. Butler offers a brilliant reworking of the body, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the "matter" of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain sex from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She clarifies the notion of "performativity" introduced in Gender Trouble and via bold readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud explores the meaning of a citational politics. She also draws on documentary and literature with compelling interpretations of the film Paris is Burning, Nella Larsen's Passing, and short stories by Willa Cather.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DarthDeverell - LibraryThing

In Bodies That Matter, Judith Butler builds upon her previous work, Gender Trouble, and argues, “The category of ‘sex’ is, from the start, normative; it is what Foucault called a ‘regulatory ideals ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amydross - LibraryThing

Basically a riposte to the critics of Butler's earlier Gender Trouble (of which I was one), this text is a much clearer and more rigorous articulation of the logic behind performativity. The theory ... Read full review


1 Bodies That Matter
2 The Lesbian Phallus And The Morphological Imaginary ...
3 Phantasmatic Identifi Cation And The Assumption of Sex
Questions of Appropriation And Subversion
Willa Cathers Masculine Names
Nella Larsens Psychoanalytic Challenge ...
7 Arguing With The Real
8 Critically Queer

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About the author (2011)

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and the Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is presently the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities.

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