Social Critic Judith Butler to Speak April 19
Social critic and prolific author Dr. Judith Butler will speak on “Global Responsibility in Time of War” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 19 at Occidental College, presented by the Ruenitz Trust Fund Distinguished Speakers Series and the Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Butler’s talk in Alumni Auditorium (Johnson Hall 200) on the Occidental campus is free and open to the public. The speech focuses on how each of us responds to torture at Abu Grahib, the prisoners at Guantanamo who have no access to legal process and the dubiously legal practice of governmental monitoring of email and phone calls by ordinary citizens.
Butler, the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, is the author of dozens of books and articles including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection, "Endangered/Endangering: Schematic Racism and White Paranoia” and "Universality in Culture." In 2004, she published Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning, a book of collected essays on war’s impact on language and thought.
Currently, Butler is working on essays pertaining to Jewish philosophy, focusing on pre-Zionist criticisms of state violence. She continues to write on her other areas of interest that include cultural and literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism and sexual politics.
The Ruenitz Trust Fund Distinguished Speakers Series is unique in that the speakers are chosen, not by faculty, but by Phi Beta Kappa Juniors who meet several times a year getting to know each other and arriving at a consensus as to whom they invite. The idea is to bring a speaker to campus that will spark discussion, possibly leading to action beyond the normal academic experience.
The Speakers Series was created in 2006 with a gift from New York entrepreneur Robert M. Ruenitz ’60 and his wife Jeri Hamilton through the Ruenitz Trust to honor the memory of Ruenitz’s parents, Esther Merriman Ruenitz and Dr. Robert C. Ruenitz.
Founded in 1926, the Occidental Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is one of the first chapters of the country’s oldest academic honor society to be chartered at a liberal arts college in the western United States.
A map and directions to campus can be found at http://www.oxy.edu/x119.xml.