Paper Title

Antigone's Becoming: Rethinking Political Resistance

Panel

Literary Interventions I

Location

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

31-3-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

31-3-2016 4:45 PM

Keywords

Antigone, feminist theory, political resistance, politics of life and death, sacrifice

Abstract

Within feminist political theory, Antigone has been a figure of inspiration for thinking through modes of rebellion and resistance. She reveals authoritarianism’s arbitrary implementation of morality and provided hope for justice over tyrants. Furthermore, she inspires the possibility of living and acting without fear. She risks life for her dead brother, her living sister, and for the well-being of the community. This paper will considers the role of gender politics and state violence in structuring Antigone’s political action.

However, Antigone's form of political resistance opens up an important question: why, when overcoming fear and resisting oppressive powers, do these action transform into the desire for one’s own destruction? This paper will argue that there is a problem with this form of sacrificial politics--it is a kind of trap when thinking about political action. For centuries, people have admired her heroism, but when considering sacrifice and martyrdom beyond individual action, this self-destruction cannot be seen as a positive, productive politics. It puts the possibility of the future, of freedom, of change in someone else’s hands.

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Mar 31st, 3:30 PM Mar 31st, 4:45 PM

Antigone's Becoming: Rethinking Political Resistance

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Within feminist political theory, Antigone has been a figure of inspiration for thinking through modes of rebellion and resistance. She reveals authoritarianism’s arbitrary implementation of morality and provided hope for justice over tyrants. Furthermore, she inspires the possibility of living and acting without fear. She risks life for her dead brother, her living sister, and for the well-being of the community. This paper will considers the role of gender politics and state violence in structuring Antigone’s political action.

However, Antigone's form of political resistance opens up an important question: why, when overcoming fear and resisting oppressive powers, do these action transform into the desire for one’s own destruction? This paper will argue that there is a problem with this form of sacrificial politics--it is a kind of trap when thinking about political action. For centuries, people have admired her heroism, but when considering sacrifice and martyrdom beyond individual action, this self-destruction cannot be seen as a positive, productive politics. It puts the possibility of the future, of freedom, of change in someone else’s hands.