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Dispossession: The Performative in the Political (PCVS-Polity Conversations Series) [Paperback]

Judith Butler , Athena Athanasiou
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Feb 2013 PCVS-Polity Conversations Series (Book 18)
Dispossession describes the condition of those who have lost land, citizenship, property, and a broader belonging to the world. This thought–provoking book seeks to elaborate our understanding of dispossession outside of the conventional logic of possession, a hallmark of capitalism, liberalism, and humanism. Can dispossession simultaneously characterize political responses and opposition to the disenfranchisement associated with unjust dispossession of land, economic and political power, and basic conditions for living? In the context of neoliberal expropriation of labor and livelihood, dispossession opens up a performative condition of being both affected by injustice and prompted to act. From the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa to the anti–neoliberal gatherings at Puerta del Sol, Syntagma and Zucchotti Park, an alternative political and affective economy of bodies in public is being formed. Bodies on the street are precarious – exposed to police force, they are also standing for, and opposing, their dispossession. These bodies insist upon their collective standing, organize themselves without and against hierarchy, and refuse to become disposable: they demand regard. This book interrogates the agonistic and open–ended corporeality and conviviality of the crowd as it assembles in cities to protest political and economic dispossession through a performative dispossession of the sovereign subject and its propriety.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; First Edition edition (22 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745653812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745653815
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 12 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Full of fantastic and well–argued insights." LSE Review of Books "What makes political responsiveness possible? With their rich and distinct wealth of philosophical knowledge and continuous political engagements, leading feminist scholars Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou set out to answer this question. Beginning from an awareness that we are all relational and interdependent beings, their lucid, compelling exchanges encourage us all to reflect again on what feminist and queer theory can contribute to the search for forms of collectivity capable of intervening in battles against these cruel and precarious times." Lynne Segal, Birkbeck, University of London and author of Making Trouble "In a series of bite–sized conversations, Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou explore the concept of dispossession and show its links to subjectivity, relationality, occupation, precarity, bio–politics and collective protest. As they push each other for clarification and introduce a range of examples, they jointly craft a new vision of what ′performative politics′ might entail." Vikki Bell, Goldsmiths, University of London

About the Author

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her previous publications include Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity , and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" . She is currently the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities. Athena Athanasiou teaches in the Department of Social Anthropology at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dense but rewarding in places 2 Aug 2013
By Zip Domingo VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a dense book that perhaps should be approached as a 'stream of consciousness' perhaps more than anything else, as Athena Athanasiou discusses with Judith Butler a further development of Left politics with particular regard to feminist and queer issues.

The discussion is very 'european' in manner as would be expected, often meandering and ill-focussed but at other times deeply rich in thought and enquiry. As with such transcripts you have to take the rough with the smooth- it reminded me at times of Zizek at his most obtuse and meandering- but there is some good, sound thought in here worth digging for although you may well have to be prepared for much of it to wash over you in order to have them revealed to you. A worthy discussion, but perhaps a little more clarity would have been useful to get the thinking across....whatever, ideal for those who want to sit down with a complex analysis of Leftist thought and where it could go in the next few years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dispossesion (PCVS-Polity Conversation Series) 20 Nov 2013
By Arthur Dooley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou's Dispossession: The Performative in the Political etc- is a discourse on the timeless arguements surrounding the political and historical patterns which have structured western societies.Dispossession takes an academic feminist perspective and looks at where we have come from and where we are heading as conflicting groups within society battle it out to be heard and impact on the status quo. Not an easy read and rambling at times but fascinating nevertheless.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's complicated... 16 Jan 2014
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The subject of this discussion, dispossession in some of its forms relating to e.g. property, feminism, citizenship and lost land, is important and interesting, but the manner in which it is dealt with for most of this exchange is at times so dense and unengaging that I completely lost interest in trying to dig through the overly complicated (particularly from AA) arguments to find the real ideas and meaning behind the words.

There are many interesting bits in there, but not enough that I would recommend it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightened discussion about dispossession 22 Sep 2013
By Mr. A. C. Thorne VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an excellent book, but really only for those already quite well versed in the subject, or as in my cases somebody involved in education and thereefore used to some of the 'interesting' terminology and academic language evidenced. The subject is so important at this time and I would acknowledge that there is a need for discourse at all levels and this text is therefore well placed for those who have an interest at the academic level, however it is in my opinion very definitely not for a lay reader. Nonetheless I found the authors discussion highly stimulating and would reccommend it for those with a specialised interest in the subject matter.
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