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23. Queer Theory and Gender Performativity

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this lecture on queer theory, Professor Paul Fry explores the work of Judith Butler in relation to Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality. Differences in terminology and methods are discussed, including Butler's emphasis on performance and Foucault's reliance on formulations such as "power-knowledge" and "the deployment of alliance." Butler's fixation with ontology is explored with reference to Levi-Strauss's concept of the raw and the cooked. At the lecture's conclusion, Butler's interrogation of identity politics is compared with that of postcolonial and African-American theorists.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction to Judith Butler: What Is Sexuality?
03:46 - Chapter 2. Foucault and the Deployment of Alliance
14:53 - Chapter 3. Performing Gender
24:10 - Chapter 4. The Political Agenda of Gender Theory
33:39 - Chapter 5. Foucault's Method, Butler's Method
46:20 - Chapter 6. The Gendering of Reading

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.