Performing Butler? Rebecca Brown's literary supplements to Judith Butler's theory of gender performativityPerforming Butler? Rebecca Brown's literary supplements to Judith Butler's theory of gender performativity
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Literature and Modernity
2013Washington, D.C., 2013
Critique : studies in contemporary fiction. - Washington, D.C.
54(2013):3, p. 292-307
University of Antwerp
This essay approaches the oeuvre of the contemporary American author Rebecca Brown as an illuminating fictional exploration of Judith Butler's theory of gender performativity. Brown's work defamiliarizes characters' acquisition of gender and sexuality while also showing some of the culturally specific limits to Butler's theory. Besides being performative, sexual identities are especially relational for Brown. Thus she avoids, as Butler cannot, the misrecognition of femmes' rebelliousness in schemes of performativity or, somewhat less overtly, the limited range of choice in terms of performance for lesbians of color.