Reading Judith Butler Reading ANTIGONE (European Literature Days 2022)
Antigone is a character with an enduring vitality in history. She has been an inspiration for many adaptations. This talk will be about Judith Butler’s book “Antigone’s Claim”, first published in America in 2000, first Vietnamese translation 2021). The talk introduces us to a contemporary interpretation of this female figure dating from Greek antiquity 2500. Judith Butler makes ANTIGONE relevant for our our contemporary world.
Before Butler, both masculinist and feminist readings viewed her as the epitome of woman, and her death had a certain logic, since Antigone was outside the positive order with its moral and psychological constraints. However, by questioning powerful discourses of knowledge, and by placing Antigone in a situation of contemporary minorities, Butler questions her fate. She sees her as someone who speaks out the unspeakable or what is not allowed be said. Butler's way of „stirring up can be seen as an interesting suggestions on how to adapt Antigone for the Vietnamese stage. It can also make us think about a lot of gender issues in Vietnam today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Judith Butler (*1956) is a professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. An influential scholar, she is also an advocate of the idea of “a livable life” for all humans. She addresses in particular women, sexual minorities and gender nonconformists.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Nguyen Thi Minh (*1985) is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education. Her main research interests are comparative literature, and film adaptation based on subjectivity theory and semiotics. She has participated in collaborative research activities in Japan (2017, 2019) and the United States (2017-2020), participated in organizing and presenting reports at many conferences at home and abroad. She is also the co-founder of "The Ladder - a Learning Space for Community", a space for those who love wisdom to share and make academic knowledge becomes more available to everyone, especially the youngsters in Vietnam. She translated: "Between Past and Future" (Hannah Arendt), Knowledge Publishing House, 2020; "History of Philosophy, volume 2" (co-translation) (Johannes Hirschberger), Knowledge Publishing House, 2020; "Antigone’s Claim" (Judith Butler), Women’s Publishing House Vietnam, 2021; "A History of the Breast" (Marilyn Yalom), Women’s Publishing House Vietnam, 2022.