Renowned Philosopher Judith Butler to Speak on the World in Crisis

Prominent American philosopher Dr. Judith Butler will speak virtually during the 39th annual Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center symposium at Duquesne University.

The free event, What Makes for a Livable life, an Inhabitable World? A Phenomenology Symposium with Prof. Judith Butler, will be held on Friday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Butler, one of the most prolific modern philosophers and social theorists, has recently focused their work on political theory, non-violence and vulnerability.

"It is a privilege and honor for the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center to welcome Judith Butler to campus virtually as our speaker for the Center's 39th Annual Symposium," says Dr. Jeffrey McCurry, director of the Center. "Prof. Butler is one of the most important living American philosophers. It will be a gift to listen to their philosophical reflections on life in the contemporary world amidst its many crises."

The symposium is composed of two separate lectures from Butler. Each lecture will focus on the world in crisis-environmentally, politically and socially, and what it means to live in a seemingly inhabitable world.

"It is my honor to speak for the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne, which has been one of the most important historical centers for teaching and research in the field of phenomenology," says Butler. "A recent resurgence in phenomenology reminds us of its timeliness as so many aspects of our world are laid bare for a new consideration: the concept of world, the condition of interconnectedness and the question of how to think about our ethical obligations to one another under pandemic."

Butler was educated at Yale University and-after teaching at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University-they are currently the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley and the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School. Their 1990 book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity is considered one of the most talked-about scholarly works of the past 50 years.

Butler is the recipient of four honorary doctorates and a winner of the Theodore Adorno Prize from the City of Frankfurt for their philosophical work. They were recently named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Register on Gumberg Library's event page. Email phenomenology@duq.edu with questions.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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