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Judith Butler

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Judith butler is an American philosopher and gender theorist who was born on February 24, 1956 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was raised in a Jewish family, which a rabbi from the local synagogue at the age of fourteen introduced her to philosophical thinking. Butler’s father was a dentist and her mother was an advocate for fair housing. Butler states that both of her parents were very accepting to when they found out she was lesbian, and were quite happy when she brought home a Jewish girlfriend. For two years she attended Bennington College, and then she studied philosophy at Yale University, receiving B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. Judith Butler taught at Wesleyan University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, at the University of California, Berkeley, she is the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory. She also served as Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. To this day, she holds the Hannah Arendt Chair at The European Graduate School. In 1990, Butler published her book Gender Trouble which really launched her career and made more people acknowledge her ideas and theories.

Judith Butler is most well known as a theorist of power, gender, sexuality and identity. Butler believes rather than being a fixed characteristic in a person, gender should be seen as able to change in different contexts and at different times. Butler’s theory does not accept stable and consistent gender identity. Her work made it clear that a person’s body and biological sex is not a stable foundation for the way they choose to express their gender.

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