Judith Butler


30 May 2018

2018 CAS SEE Summer School “Critique of Violence Now: from Thinking to Acting against Violence” (June 18 – 22, 2018) examines one of today’s most pressing topics: how to think and what to do with violence. To what extent is it possible to deconstruct the emerging mechanisms of violence? What kinds of phenomena precipitate coercion and violence, making it difficult to suppress? Assuming that in myriad social contexts violence is a relational / social phenomenon, is there any social purpose to it, and does it have any productive alternative?

This year’s Summer School opens with a public lecture by Judith Butler (University of California, Berkeley), entitled “Interpreting Non-Violence.” The lecture will be held on Monday, June 18th 2018, at 6.00 p.m. at the Croatian National Theatre ‘Ivan pl. Zajc’, and will be moderated by Sanja Bojanic (UNIRI CAS SEE; Center for Women’s Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences).

“Interpreting Non-Violence”
“If non-violence is to make sense as an ethical and political position, it cannot simply repress aggression or do away with its reality; rather, non-violence should emerge as a meaningful concept precisely when destruction is most likely or seems most certain.”
“We need to think first about an ethics of non-violence that presupposes forms of dependency, and interdependency that are unmanageable or become the source of conflict and aggression. Second, it proposes that we consider how our understanding of equality relates to the ethics and politics of non-violence. For that connection to make sense, we would have to admit into our idea of political equality the equal grievability of lives. Only a disorientation from a presumptive individualism will let us understand the possibility of an aggressive non-violence, one that emerges in the midst of conflict, one that takes hold in the force field of violence itself.”

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She served as Founding Director of the Program in Critical Theory. A prolific author, she is perhaps best known for “Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France” (1987); “Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity” (1990); “Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’” (1993); “Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?” (2009); and “Is Critique Secular?” (co-written with Talal Asad, Wendy Brown, and Saba Mahmood, 2009). Her most recent books include: “Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly” (2015); “Vulnerability in Resistance,” (2016), edited with Zeynep Gambetti and Leticia Sabsay.
Butler is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Andrew W. Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13). She is currently the principal investigator in a four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs, which is also the main reason Judith Butler is with us on this occasion in Rijeka.
She is currently the principal investigator in a four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs. Her visit to Rijeka is part of this endeavor, since the Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe and the Center for Women’s Studies (both of the University of Rijeka) and the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade) are Consortium members.

◍ Tickets ◍
Tickets to the lecture are free, but need to be reserved ahead of time. Please e-mail blagajna@hnk or call +385 (0)51 337 114 to reserve. Reserved tickets are available for pick-up no later than twenty-four hours before the event. The theater box office hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well as two hours before the event.

Organizers: University of Rijeka, Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe (UNIRI CAS SEE), University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade).

Partners: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Zagreb, National Theatre I. pl. Zajc, Goethe Institute Zagreb, Mellon Foundation, Erste Foundation, European Fund for the Balkans, French Institute Croatia, Consulato generale d’Italia – Fiume, City of Rijeka, Art-kino Croatia. The “Critique of Violence Now: from Thinking to Acting against Violence” Summer School program is part of the “Kitchen” and “Seasons of Power” flagships of the project “Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture.”

Find more information regarding the program and full schedule of the Summer School events at the CAS SEE website: www.cas.uniri.hr