Past Event

Unworlding: Bonnie Honig

April 25, 2022
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Buell Hall, 515 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027 East Gallery
AFTRthoughts: A Feminist Theory of Refusal and the Politics of Re-worlding

Monday, April 25, 2022
4:00PM - 5:30PM ET
Columbia Maison Française


*Event attendees must show proof of vaccination (or a Green Pass through the ReopenCU app) to access event venue*

In this talk, Bonnie Honig will rehearse the idea of an arc of refusal, theorized in her new work, A Feminist Theory of Refusal, alongside a reading of Euripides’ great drama of refusal, the Bacchae. The arc of refusal in the Bacchae brings those who abandoned the city back to it. However, must refusal return to the city? The question is explored in and beyond the book that occasions this talk, (re)tracing the arc of refusal in several key sources, including The Fits, a 2016 film about young Black girlhood, John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, whose famed “grass-counter” is a heretofore unnoticed queer figure of refusal, and The Story of Ferdinand, the children’s book whose protagonist is a gender non-binary bull.


Speaker Bios

Bonnie Honig is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media (MCM) and Political Science at Brown University, and (by courtesy) Religious Studies (RS) and Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is author of several books, including: Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Cornell, 1993, Scripps Prize for best first book), Democracy and the Foreigner (Princeton, 2001), Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy (Princeton, 2009, David Easton Prize), Antigone, Interrupted (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair (Fordham, 2017), A Feminist Theory of Refusal (Harvard, 2021) and Shell Shocked: Feminist Criticism After Trump (Fordham, 2021: a collection of revised versions of her public writing since 2016).

Honig has also edited or co-edited several collections, including Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt (Penn State, 1995), the Oxford Handbook of Political Theory (Oxford, 2008), and Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier (Oxford, 2016). Her articles have appeared in a wide variety of journals, including Arethusa (Okin-Young Prize for best article in feminist theory), New Literary History, Political Theory, theory&event, Social Text, differences, American Political Science Review, Political Theology, and (fc, 2023) Cultural Critique.


Co-presented with: Columbia University Arts & Sciences Committee on Equity and Diversity; Division of the Humanities; Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement; Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life; and The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Contact Information

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