Mis-alliances

Butler’s second Flexner lecture, Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street, discussed the power of alliances, especially “queer alliances” to disrupt and challenge the chokehold of neo-liberal policies and politics. When people come together in public spaces in unexpected ways, they publicly insist on their personhood and their rights, which they are being [...]

Armchair Activist

I wasn’t able to attend Judith Butler’s second Flexner lecture in person; my body, at that moment, was in alliance with a dozen or so parents at the Haverford Township High School, where I hold a leadership position in the Parent Teacher Student Association. But thanks to Bryn Mawr’s department of Multimedia and Audio Visual [...]

Thinking through Violence

In Monday’s lecture, Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street, Butler characterized the financial crisis as an actively-waged neo-liberal war against democracy and the ethics of social interdependency that are inherent to it. This is what gives the notion of alliance its political power—pursuing alliances and recognizing already-existing alliances with others is a [...]

Where and When Else Can be in Alliance?

This past Monday, Judith Butler discussed how coming together, occupying, and creating public spaces opens up possibilities because it allows bodies to enact the rights that they’re demanding but being denied. In this sense, alliances are acting outside of established temporalities because they’re performing rights that have yet to be (and perhaps never will be) [...]

Bodies Traveling through Space and Time

Butler’s lecture this week Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street coupled with the news of Occupy evictions lead me back to a panel discussion I recently attended on website usability and designing for social change (much of which I, admittedly, barely understood).  I, who becomes wary at the mention of the Internet [...]

Public Square

Judith Butler’s discussion of Hannah Arendt’s theory of the “space of appearance” is incredibly timely with the movements happening around the world this year, and with Occupy Wall Street protestors being forced out of Zuccotti Park on Tuesday morning.

In her second lecture, Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street, Judith Butler articulates [...]

In Defense of Anarchy

Photograph by: Ramy Raoof

On Monday Judith Butler presented what might be the most eloquent defense of anarchism that I’ve ever heard. Butler’s argument is grounded in the fact that in every political entity in existence today, there exists a disparity between the claims of universality upon which the legitimacy of the political order [...]

Media, Technology, and Street Activism

I was pleasantly surprised to see the end of Judith Butler’s second lecture, “Bodies in Alliance & the Politics of the Street” take a turn toward an exploration of the role that modern technologies play in the politics of the street.  The topic of technology blossomed out of Butler’s consideration of the media’s role in [...]

How to be in alliance with each other

This week Butler asked one question that really resonated with me: what does it mean to ally with one another? Live with one another? This is a question that any movement has to wrestle with over and over again to evaluate if and how it’s serving the needs of the entire community.

As someone who’s active [...]