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Seminar on Adriana Zaharijević’s Book The Life of Bodies. Political Philosophy of Judith Butler

28. April 12:00 - 14:00

The monograph Life of Bodies. Political Philosophy of Judith Butler (2020) provides an overview of Judith Butler’s thought in the span of almost 40 years, from her early works in the field of feminist and gender theory, over her move from performativity to precarity and the problems of war, nationalism, human rights, influence of media and non-violence, to her latest demand for radical equality. Zaharijević claims that while Butler is not a systematic thinker and does not aim at constituting a system or even coherent thought throughout, her work still shows unity that has at its center a body as a social phenomenon, whose life is necessarily precarious, performing in order to persist. The author also sees Butler's work as equally philosophical and political, and describes her political endeavour as an insurrection at the level of the real, a resolute incitement to think and also possibly act differently – creating new horizons of what is real and new, more just and inclusive ways of perceiving life. As the basic question that emerges in all Butler’s works in different ways, the author sees the following – how is it possible that some lives (sexually, gender, nationally, religiously, politically, geographically different from ours) are discarded, not counted as lives? The book has been divided into four encompassing thematic concepts – performativity, agency, livable life and non-violence, that Zaharijević sees as central and more or less present in all Judith Butler’s works.

Book Life of Bodies. Political Philosophy of Judith Butler has been shortlisted for the “Nikola Milošević” prize for the best theoretical work published in Serbia in 2021, and recently received “Anđelka Milić” prize for the feminist book of the year.

Adriana Zaharijević is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory of the University of Belgrade. She graduated philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade and obtained her PhD at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, combining political philosophy, feminist theory and social history of the 19th century. Her texts have been translated into several languages, and she is the author of Postajanje ženom (Becoming Woman 2010), Ko je pojedinac? (Who is an Individual? Genealogical Inquiry into the Idea of a Citizen, 2014, 2019) and Life of Bodies. Political Philosophy of Judith Butler (2020).

Participants: Jelena Ćeriman, Igor Cvejić, Irena Fiket, Marjan Ivković, Marko Konjović, Predrag Krstić, Mark Losoncz, Olga Nikolić, Aleksandar Ostojić, Andrea Perunović, Srđan Prodanović, Milan Urošević and Zona Zarić.


28. April
12:00 - 14:00