Postures of Refusal: From Antigone to Ali/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 numerous books, including Antigone, Interrupted (2013), and Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair (2017). She is currently at work on a new project called After Bartleby: Feminism and the Politics of Refusal, delivered as the Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr College in the fall of 2017 and to be published by Harvard University Press