Postures of Refusal: From Antigone to Kaepernick
How do the postures of our bodies communicate citizens’ dissidence or conformity, non-compliance or care? When Kaepernick kneels, Black Lives Matter lie down in the streets, soldiers stand at attention, and we all speak of moral fortitude as having a spine or showing spine, are these mere dramatizations and harmless metaphors? Or might they tell us something about the gendering of moral conscience? This talk will look at the significance of posture of obedience and disobedience in a variety of texts, from Sophocles’ Antigone” to Euripides’ “Bacchae,” from speeches/interviews by Muhammad Ali to photographs of Colin Kaepernick.
Bonnie Honig is Nancy Duke Lewis Professor in the departments of Modern Culture and Media (MCM) and Political Science at Brown University. She is author of Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Cornell, 1993), Democracy and the Foreigner (Princeton, 2001), Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy (Princeton, 2009), Antigone, Interrupted (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair, (Fordham University Press, 2017). She has edited or co-edited: Feminist Interpretations of Hannah Arendt (Penn State, 1995), Skepticism, Individuality and Freedom: The Reluctant Liberalism of Richard Flathman (Minnesota, 2002) the Oxford Handbook of Political Thought (Oxford, 2006) and, most recently, Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier (Oxford, 2016). She is currently at work on a new project called Theaters of Refusal, to be delivered as the Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr College in the fall of 2017 and to be published by Harvard University Press. In 2017-18 she is serving as the Inaugural Cranor Phi Beta Kappa Scholar.