For this assignment, I am revisiting, revising, and rethinking my first direct engagement entry on Judith Butler's refusal of the Civil Courage award offered to her by Berlin's Christopher Street Day (CSD) organization. My entry focusses on summarizing the event and its implications. My own reaction is summed up in one sentence at the end of the entry: "I would argue that declining the award and very publicly utilizing her power as a celebrity to disagree with the CSD is an act of great courage."
For the purposes of this assignment, I am most interested in adding some insights to my initial evaluation of Butler's refusal that I left out of my first entry (most of which I have gained over the course of the semester). My summary of the event is pretty spot on and I think that my evaluation of its implications for an intersectional approach to addressing marginality and oppression is accurate. Our challenging of identity politics in class has reiterated for me the need to address numerous causes of oppression simultaneously. Butler's refusal of the award serves to subvert the CSD's anti-Muslim sentiments; implying that we cannot ask for the advancement of queers while bashing other marginalized groups.
One of the most critical insights that I would like to add here comes from out discussions of globalization, postcolonialism, and transnationalism (also from the big ol' conference). I am interested in the implications on a transnational political movement of giving a German-based award to an American-based theorist. One of the panelists at the conference brought up the incident as being a catalyst for German activism and as an example of transnational influence on national politics. How might Butler stand in as agent of neo-colonialism?
Revisiting this entry has been an insightful experience for me. Having this assignment got me to go back and look through some of my past entries and it was fun to see how they have visually evolved over the semester. I have also noticed which entries I clearly put some more work into than others. My first direct engagement was pretty short and didn't include many questions or personal reactions. I am glad to have had an opportunity to go a little bit more in depth into the response (however rushed it might be, given the pile of work for other classes that is staring me down).
Just for fun: