venue: Room 117, Dun Mikiel Xerri Lecture Centre (LC117)
speaker: Kurt Borg
This talk is intended to provide an introduction to the multiple facets of the work of the contemporary philosopher Judith Butler. Butler is best known for Gender Trouble, the 1990 book that contributed to the inauguration of queer theory. In this talk, some of her influential ideas on gender performativity will be presented and situated within a contemporary philosophical context. Moreover, this talk will look at Butler's more recent post-2001 works, generally associated with an ethical "turn" that some commentators see in Butler's work and poststructuralism in general. I will show how Butler's work - since her earliest writings - has always grappled with ethico-political concerns, or what in this talk I will call the political ethics of oneself. These concerns revolve around the notions of the precariousness and vulnerability of life, the difficulties inherent in the activity of narrating or giving an account of oneself, and the power of norms to regulate lives whilst rendering other lives unliveable.
Kurt Borg graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Malta, with a dissertation titled Exploring Michel Foucault’s Move from Power and Knowledge to Ethics and the Self. His main interests are the ethical and political ideas of Foucault and other poststructuralist thinkers, as well as feminist and queer theory, with particular interest in the works of Judith Butler. He is currently a PhD student at Staffordshire University, focusing on the relation between trauma theory and poststructuralist accounts of subjectivity and self-narration.