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Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative

Excitable Speech A Politics of the Performative With the same intellectual courage with which she addressed issues of gender in two earlier best selling Routledge books Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter philosopher Judith Butler turns her att

  • Title: Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative
  • Author: Judith Butler
  • ISBN: 9780415915885
  • Page: 294
  • Format: Paperback
  • With the same intellectual courage with which she addressed issues of gender in two earlier best selling Routledge books, Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter, philosopher Judith Butler turns her attention to speech and conduct in contemporary political life, looking at several efforts to target speech as conduct that has become subject to political debate and regulation.With the same intellectual courage with which she addressed issues of gender in two earlier best selling Routledge books, Gender Trouble and Bodies That Matter, philosopher Judith Butler turns her attention to speech and conduct in contemporary political life, looking at several efforts to target speech as conduct that has become subject to political debate and regulation Reviewing hate speech regulations, anti pornography arguments, and recent controversies about gay self declaration in the military, Judith Butler asks whether and how language acts in each of these cultural sites Excitable Speech examines the issue of the threatening action of words The book suggests that although language is a kind of performance which has the power to produce political effects and injuries, it is best understood as a scene of injury rather than its cause Rather, Butler warns us against a sovereign view of language, in which the words we speak are construed as unequivocal forms of conduct She shows that the repetition of injurious language can be the occasion of its redefinition Butler illuminates the efficacy of injurious language, covering speech act therapy in both philosophical and literary traditions, Supreme Court cases, hate speech and pornography critics, and recent bans on gay speech in the military.

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    1 thought on “Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative

    1. Judith Butler makes an important contribution here by emphasizing the stakes of power and agency in speech-act theory. She revisits key authors in speech-act discourse, such as J.L. Austin and Althusser, revising many of their theories which posited language too conventionally (Austin) or posited language as issuing from a sovereign or divine (otherwise non-human) agent (Althusser). In doing so, Butler questions the presumption that hate speech always works; this is not to minimize pain suffered [...]

    2. while i was reading this i couldn't stop thinking about rap and direct action. i don't really know why except for no other reason that it feels connected to the ideas of agency connected to language, that seems to operate through the language itself, that is the language like a living thing. i'm reading this back to back with kaja silverman's subject of semiotics. there's something super '90s about this book. i don't know why judith butler irritates so many people. she appears to be very rigorou [...]

    3. Butler's analysis of censorship is nuanced, and as always she resists drawing easy conclusions. The political issues she considers are still very relevant today, even though the book was published well over a decade ago. The theory of accountability that Butler proposes in Excitable Speech sets the stage for the even better Giving an Account of Oneself.

    4. When people criticize Butler for this book, it makes me think they are stupid, also it makes me want to punch them. (is that hate speech?) Anyway, it's very interesting, deep book. About law and speech (and consequently the way we live in the world all). Illuminating.

    5. I never finished this. This book represents my very mixed emotions about contemporary academia. I can't really stand it, but I also feel terribly guilty for not putting the effort into knowing it and being able to express why I can't stand it.

    6. Butler deviously pixes up pragmatics with ever-changing-fuild-never-congealed entity view! The result: bamboozling gibberish!

    7. Ler um livro de Judith Butler, para um homossexual, pode substituir muitos anos de terapia. Sim, os textos dela não são fáceis, e a maioria em inglês, mas aqueles capazes de dar uma chance à educação e ao pensamento crítico, conseguirão entender. Neste livro, Excitable Speech, um baita dum livro que devia ser traduzido ao português depois do "queimem a bruxa", fala exatamente sobre isso: até onde o discurso de ódio é ético e moral? Até onde ele deve ser regulado pela lei, pelo Est [...]

    8. A series of case studies on what constitutes 'speech', with an emphasis on American law and society. Unfortunately burdened with a lot of jargon, the content is very strong, particularly when it explores the role of the body in speech, and how hate-speech can be framed. Excellent at times.

    9. Excitable speech is a fairly odd book in many ways. Butler takes on a very difficult task. On the one hand she tries to argue, despite taking much support herself on that theory, that speech acts are not necessarily ‘acts’ when it comes to hate speech and pornography. Instead, she argues that hate speech is not an ‘act’ in itself. It is inconsistent with the theory iteslf, for Butler, if hate speech would be an ‘act.’ But in this she does not reject the idea of performativity in spee [...]

    10. I don't have much exposure to Judith Butler, mostly because I very easily fall into the paradigm of having read Gender Trouble first and then automatically assuming that any and all of her contributions would stem from/take issue with ideas of gender/sexuality/etc. This is incredibly small-minded of me because in reading Excitable Speech I found myself so very taken with the ways in which she explores ideas of trauma and mourning through language. I think where her ideas intersect with Derrida's [...]

    11. Although I try to keep up with Butler's work much of it descends into a sense of post-modern analysis without clear options for action, this is a pleasing exception. It is also, of all the work I have read of her's in the last 15 years or so the one, that gets (or perhaps stays) closest to her origins in rhetoric and centres explicitly on the performativity of the speech act itself. As a result, there is a clear and lucid introductory chapter outlining the basis of her work in rhetoric and lingu [...]

    12. It had been a long time since I had read current critical theory (I switched from literature studies to linguistics in 1990, so my critical theory pretty much stopped with works from the early 1980s). Of course I had heard about newer critical theories, including queer theory, I had not read any new works, so when I was assigned to read Judith Butler for a rhetorical traditions class in 2013, I was pretty interested in reading this text. Bulter has a spartan, abstract voice and is a challenge to [...]

    13. I gave it two stars, not for the content, but for the writing style. It's extremely dense, overly complicated and hardly accessible to people who are not familiar with her field. Which is a shame with this book, because as far as I understood it, it's a very pertinent analysis. However I am so uncertain about having understood the actual meaning that I won't comment further on this. Also, I made the mistake of trying to read this translated in my mother tongue at first. Her analysis of language [...]

    14. Interrogates Austin's speech act theory to produce a nuanced analysis of hate speech and related phenomena. This book takes Bourdieu's notion of the performative as iterative of social arrangements and turns it on its head by examining the transformative capacity of speech, even that usually assumed to be harmful.

    15. Butler makes some really original and persuasive points regarding hate speech, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and pornography. However, I felt her writing got repetitive. Although I know this was meant to expand Derrida's method of demonstrating post-structural method, her style can be tough to wrestle with. It's important for the ideas, but by the end I was beating my head against the desk.

    16. Despite her sometimes painful postmodernist writing style, Butler covers some interesting ground in this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I needed at the moment so I didn't delve into it as much as I would have liked - maybe in the future.

    17. Judith Butler's writing can be very dense and difficult to read. This book is a little more accessible than some of her work, but you definitely have to have the vocabulary in her subject matter to follow it. If you do, you will find this work very valuable and worthwhile.

    18. A departure from her normal work focusing on gender, it was refreshing to read something that so eloquently merged politics and linguistics, especially in the contemporary. A great way to keep thinking about Austin and performative utterances in the modern world.

    19. say what you will about judy butts but understanding performatives was important for what i was doing at the time, although i probably could have done just as well going straight to j.l. austin

    20. Love how she avoids pronouns or if it's absolutely necessary goes with ''she'' rather than ''he''. Yes a bit difficult to sustain the focus but once you're pulled in her writing has an amazing flow.

    21. Used this book in conjunction with Bill Readings "The University in Ruins" to discuss the rhetorical implications of "excellence" in university education.

    22. 1r premio a la introducción más larga, el primer capítulo empieza en la página 81. Es un tostón bastante interesante.

    23. Elicited more marginalia on my part than anything else I've ever read. About language, names, speech acts and other books talking about those things in a five-star earning sort of way.

    24. Since I am currently writing an essay on Austin and Derrida, I appreciated her views on both of those philosophers. Out of all the Butler that I have read, this book makes the most sense.

    25. Read alongside J.L. Austin's How To Do Things with Words. And who said that early Butler wasn't clear and concise? This definitely was. If only this line of thinking was present for GT

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