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Performing Butler? Rebecca Brown's literary supplements to Judith Butler's theory of gender performativity

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

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.
Journal: Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
ISSN: 0011-1619
Volume: 54
Pages: 292 - 307
Publication year:2013