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Who’s Afraid of Gender?
Judith Butler in conversation with Jack Halberstam

Saturday, April 6, 2024, 6:30 pm, Dia Chelsea

Event details
Saturday, April 6, 2024
6:30 pm

Dia Chelsea
537 West 22nd street
New York, New York

Free; register for the event here.

Join us at Dia Chelsea for the New York launch of Judith Butler’s much-anticipated new book, Who’s Afraid of Gender?.

In 1990, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity started to revolutionize how we understand sexuality, gender, and the performative dimensions of identity. In the decades since, Butler has become one of our most trenchant and iconic public intellectuals—a thinker who has made countless timely and urgent interventions on questions of violence and peace, language and war, and precarity and cohabitation. Now, in Who’s Afraid of Gender?, Butler returns to the topic that made their name, to illuminate how “anti-gender ideology movements” have become central to reactionary politics and rising authoritarianism worldwide.

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 buoyed by fascist passions as well as trans-exclusionary feminists. In Butler’s vital new book, they explore the concrete ways that the anti-gender movement, operating in tandem with deceptive accounts of “critical race theory” and xenophobic panics about migration, demonizes struggles for equality, fuels aggressive nationalism, and threatens to undermine progressive social movements and basic rights.

This special launch event, co-presented by Pioneer Works and Dia Art Foundation, will feature a conversation between Butler and Jack Halberstam and a book signing with Butler.

Judith Butler’s many books include Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (1993), Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (1997), The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind (2020) and What World is This? (2022). The recipient of numerous academic honors, Butler has also published editorials and reviews in The GuardianNew StatesmanThe NationTime Magazine, London Review of Books, and in a wide range of journals, newspapers, radio and podcast programs around the world. They are Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California at Berkeley. Who’s Afraid of Gender? is out this month from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Jack Halberstam is the David Feinson Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books, including Female Masculinity (1998), The Queer Art of Failure (2011), and a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (2018). Halberstam’s latest book is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire (2020). In 2018, Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the built environment. Halberstam is now finishing a book titled Unworlding: Trans and Queer Anarchitectures. Halberstam was the subject of a short film titled “So We Moved” by Adam Pendleton.

This program is part of Pioneer Works Broadcast’s Author Talks, a series highlighting authors and thinkers across disciplines.

Pioneer Works Broadcast is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, bridging the two cultures of science and the arts.

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