Judith Butler The Force of Nonviolence

Force of Nonviolence © 2020

Judith Butler presents a lecture and live Q&A chaired by Amia Srinivasan that draws on her new book, which shows how an ethic of nonviolence must be connected to a broader political struggle for social equality.

The Force of Nonviolence argues that nonviolence is often misunderstood as a passive practice that emanates from a calm region of the soul, or as an individualist ethical relation to existing forms of power. But, in fact, nonviolence is an ethical position found in the midst of the political field.

By considering how ‘racial phantasms’ inform justifications of state and administrative violence, Butler tracks how violence is often attributed to those who are most severely exposed to its lethal effects. The struggle for nonviolence is found in movements for social transformation that reframe the grievability of lives in light of social equality and whose ethical claims follow from an insight into the interdependency of life as the basis of social and political equality.

Presented in collaboration with the British Library as part of Feminist Resistance: Strategies for the 21st Century in partnership with Verso, a programme marking their 50th anniversary.

This event paves the way to the delayed opening of the British Library’s exhibition Unfinished Business: the fight for Women’s Rights, which will open in late October and energetically explore the themes of the “longest revolution.”

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