Antigone's Claim Unwritten Laws, Aberrant Transmissions Promiscuous Obedience
The celebrated author of Gender Trouble here redefines Antigone's legacy, recovering her revolutionary significance and liberating it for a progressive feminism and sexual politics. Antigone has long been a feminist icon of defiance. But what has remained unclear is whether she escapes from the forms of power that she opposes, since the form of defiance she exemplifies also leads to her death. Butler argues that Antigone represents a form of feminist and sexual agency that is fraught with risk. Moreover, Antigone shows how a culture of normative heterosexuality obstructs our capacity to see what sexual freedom and political agency could be.
Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. Her many acclaimed critical works include Subjects of Desire, Gender Trouble, The Psychic Life of Power, and Bodies That Matter.
"Butler is interested in Antigone as a liminal figure between the family and the state, between life and death... but also as a figure, like all her kin, who represents the non-normative family, a set of kinship relations that seems to defy the standard model... one senses in Butler's interest... homage to those who have lived, or have tried to live, and to those who have died 'on the sexual margins.' " - The Nation "This is a book that anyone interested in queer theory, feminist theory, or family law must read." - Drucilla Cornell, author of The Imaginary Domain