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“Give me glory!” – Feminism and the Politics of Refusal

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Sir Roland Wilson Building Theatre

120 McCoy Cct

Canberra, ACT 2600

Australia

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Professor Bonnie Honig's recent work reflects her enduring interest in contemporary political theory, democratic politics, and feminism.

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In this Public Lecture Distinguished Professor Bonnie Honig describes her response to a recent turn to “refusal” (challenging settler colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, or neoliberalism) and looks at the Bacchae as a drama of refusal.

The bacchants in Euripides’ play refuse work (shunning the “shuttle and loom”), join forces, idle on Cithaeron, fight and then topple a king, and return to Thebes to claim their right to the city, before being exiled. The Bacchae is not normally seen as a drama of refusal but the women commit regicide and when they experiment with pleasure and spirituality outside the city (this is their offence, and their resource) they model a refusal with world-building powers.

In this lecture, Honig considers in particular the concept of “fabulation” as a “refusal concept,” and uses a reading of black girlhood in Hartman’s Wayward Lives to confront the question of infrapolitics among black women, with revolutionary political implications.

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Sir Roland Wilson Building Theatre

120 McCoy Cct

Canberra, ACT 2600

Australia

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