ArticlesVolume 21, Number 2 (2011)

The Provocations of Enduring Friendships

Abstract

If you do a Google search for “Judith Butler” and “friendship,” not much comes up. Mostly there are links to acknowledgments in her many books where she thanks those who have given support, advice, criticism … friendship. In fact, the title of this paper comes from one of those acknowledgments-in Antigone ‘s Claim-and it is offered to me. For those of us who have experienced it, Butler is a phenomenal friend; her keen insight, her intense concern, and her generosity are unprecedented and treasured. To be a friend of Judith Butler is to know the joys of a special kind of connection. This is not about the superficial relationship connoted by “friends with benefits,” or Facebook friends, or “Friends of Bill,” or some other celebrity figure-it’s about recognition and emotional sustenance, a shared practice that changes each of us and that is increasingly rare these days.