Judith Butler

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Frames of War, Precarious LifeThe Psychic Life of Power, Excitable Speech, Bodies that Matter, Gender Trouble, and with Slavoj Žižek and Ernesto Laclau, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality.


  • Staff picks: Feminist books for International Women’s Day

    In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8th March, the women workers of Verso and New Left Review share some of our favourite feminist books in tribute to the radical roots of the observance. 

    - Jo  Spence/Rosy Martin, Mother as Factory Worker, 1984-88

    Continue Reading

  • The year in review: The Verso blog’s top 15 articles of 2015

    Precariousness and Grievability—When Is Life Grievable?’ by Judith Butler

    "One way of posing the question of who “we” are in these times of war is by asking whose lives are considered valuable, whose lives are mourned, and whose lives are considered ungrievable. We might think of war as dividing populations into those who are grievable and those who are not.” Judith Butler, Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?

    After the Paris attacks of November this year, Judith Butler’s analysis of the different frames through which we experience violence in Frames of War provided an essential guide to thinking through the tragedy. We published an edited extract from the book that asks us to observe the relationships between violence, power and the mournability of some lives above others. 

    Continue Reading

  • Staff Picks: Books of the Year 2015—Chosen by Verso

    We published a lot of books in 2015 and, somehow, we managed to find time to read some too! Once again, Verso staff from London and New York share our highlights from a year of reading: books we enjoyed, found challenging or inspiring, or developed a strange and feverish addiction to. 


    The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein (Europa Editions, 2015); My Brilliant Friend (2012); The Story of a New Name (2013); Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (2014).

    Several of us in the Verso team received our diagnosis this summer from a certified medical doctor who scrutinized our exhausted faces, distracted eyes and dramatic swings of emotion: “I’m sorry. You have come down with a severe case of Ferrante fever. The worst will pass but the hunger will never fade.” This fever of addiction stole sleep, stoked obsession and caused dangerous and foolish behaviour, such as crossing the road whilst reading—but it also brought new and old friends together in a happy haze of intoxication. Thus, here are some snippets from my brilliant friends that illustrate our year of reading Ferrante: 

    Continue Reading