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Thursday, March 28, 2024, 6:00 pm PST

Judith Butler

Price: Free (Registration Required)

Judith Butler discusses their new book – Who’s Afraid of Gender? – published by Farrar Straus Giroux


This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need a device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.

Judith Butler discusses their new book

Who’s Afraid of Gender?

published by Farrar Straus Giroux

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2024 by Time, Elle, Kirkus, Literary Hub, The Millions, Electric Literature, and them.

Judith Butler, the groundbreaking thinker whose iconic book Gender Trouble redefined how we think about gender and sexuality, confronts the attacks on “gender” that have become central to right-wing movements today. Global networks have formed “anti-gender ideology movements” that are dedicated to circulating a fantasy that gender is a dangerous, perhaps diabolical, threat to families, local cultures, civilization—and even “man” himself. Inflamed by the rhetoric of public figures, this movement has sought to nullify reproductive justice, undermine protections against sexual and gender violence, and strip trans and queer people of their rights to pursue a life without fear of violence.

The aim of Who’s Afraid of Gender? is not to offer a new theory of gender but to examine how “gender” has become a phantasm for emerging authoritarian regimes, fascist formations, and transexclusionary feminists. In their vital, courageous new book, Butler illuminates the concrete ways that this phantasm of “gender” collects and displaces anxieties and fears of destruction. Operating in tandem with deceptive accounts of “critical race theory” and xenophobic panics about migration, the anti-gender movement demonizes struggles for equality, fuels aggressive nationalism, and leaves millions of people vulnerable to subjugation.

An essential intervention into one of the most fraught issues of our moment, Who’s Afraid of Gender? is a bold call to refuse the alliance with authoritarian movements and to make a broad coalition with all those whose struggle for equality is linked with fighting injustice. Imagining new possibilities for both freedom and solidarity, Butler offers us a hopeful work of social and political analysis that is both timely and timeless—a book whose verve and rigor only they could deliver.

Judith Butler is the author of several books including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”, The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection, Excitable Speech, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly, and The Force of Non-Violence. In addition to numerous academic honors and publications, Butler has published editorials and reviews in The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Nation, Time Magazine, the London Review of Books, and in a wide range of journals, newspapers, radio and podcast programs throughout Europe, Latin America, Central and South Asia, and South Africa. They live in Berkeley.

Made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.

Type of Event:

Registration Required:

Start Date:
Thursday, March 28, 2024, 6:00 pm PST

End Date:
Thursday, March 28, 2024, 9:00 pm PST


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