14th Annual Feminist Theory Workshop

Keynote Speakers

Judith Butler

Judith Butler

Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory
University of California, Berkeley
Anne Anlin Cheng

Anne Anlin Cheng

Professor of English, Director of American Studies, and affiliated faculty in the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies
Princeton University
Sharon P. Holland

Sharon P. Holland

Professor of American Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Audra Simpson

Audra Simpson

Professor Anthropology
Columbia University, NYC

Speaker Biographies

Judith Butler

Judith Butler

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She served as Founding Director of the Critical Theory Program  and the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs at UC Berkeley.  She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1984. She is the author of Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (1987), Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (1993), The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection (1997), Excitable Speech(1997), Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death(2000), Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning (2004); Undoing Gender (2004), Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging (with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak in 2008), Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2009), and Is Critique Secular? (co-written with Talal Asad, Wendy Brown, and Saba Mahmood, 2009) and Sois Mon Corps (2011), co-authored with Catherine Malabou.  Her most recent books include: Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (2012), Dispossessions: The Performative in the Politicalco-authored with Athena Athanasiou (2013), Senses of the Subject(2015) and Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015).  She is the co-editor of Vulnerability in Resistance (Duke University Press, 2016). Her book, The Force of Non-Violence:An Ethico-Political Bind, will be published by Verso in 2020.  Her books have been translated in 27 languages.  Her future projects include a study on messianic animals in Kafka and Benjamin and an inquiry into philosophical fictions in Freud’s work.
She is also active in gender and sexual politics and human rights, anti-war politics, serves on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace and their committee on Academic Freedom as well as the Advisory Council of The New University in Exile at the New School University and the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights. She was the chair of the Committee for Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibilities for the Modern Language Association (2013-15) and will serve as President of the MLA for 2020 (serving now as First Vice-President).  She has served on the board of the Institut fuer Sozialforschung in Frankfurt. She is affiliated  faculty at the Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College and  the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. She was the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13).  She received the Adorno Prize from the City of Frankfurt (2012) in honor of her contributions to feminist and moral philosophy, the Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime achievement in gay and lesbian studies, and the Research Lecturer honor at UC Berkeley in 2005. Other fellowships include Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ford, American Council of Learned Societies, and was selected as a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at the College des Hautes Etudes in Paris. She has received honorary degrees from Université Bordeaux-III, Université Paris-VII, Grinnell College, McGill University, University of St. Andrews, Université de Fribourg in Switzerland, Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina, Universidad de Costa Rica, Université de Liége in Belgium, Universidad de Chili, Universidad de Guadalajara, and Belgrade University. In 2013, she was awarded the diploma of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Cultural Ministry. In 2015 she was elected as a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and in 2019 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Anne Anlin Cheng

Anne Anlin Cheng

Anne Anlin Cheng is Professor of English and American Studies and Director of the Program in American Studies at Princeton University.  She specializes in race studies, aesthetic theory, psychoanalysis, and visual culture and is affiliated with the Program in Gender and Sexuality and Film Studies.   She works in twentieth-century American literature, with special focus on Asian American and African American literatures.  She is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief (Oxford University Press), which argues for the importance of distinguishing racial grief from grievance at the intersection of history, culture, and law; Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface (Oxford University Press), which tells the story of the surprising intimacy between the making of the “pure modern surface” and the theatricalization of black skin at the turn of the twentieth century; and her most recent book Ornamentalism (Oxford University Press) suggests that, embedded within the long and ostentatious history of Orientalism, is an alternative archaeology of synthetic personhood that proves central to, rather than exceptional from, the ideology of modern Western personhood. 

Sharon P. Holland

Sharon P. Holland

Sharon P. Holland is the Townsend Ludington Distinguished Endowed Professor in American Studies at the University of North Carolina @ Chapel Hill. She is also the Director of the Program in Sexuality Studies and the convenor for the Critical Ethnic Studies Collective whose institutional home is in the Center for the Study of the American South.

She is a graduate of Princeton University (1986) and holds a PhD in English and African American Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1992). She is the author of Raising the Dead: Readings of Death and (Black) Subjectivity (Duke UP, 2000), which won the Lora Romero First Book Prize from the American Studies Association (ASA) in 2002. She is also co-author of a collection of trans-Atlantic Afro-Native criticism with Professor Tiya Miles (American Culture, UM, Ann Arbor) entitled Crossing Waters/ Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (Duke University Press, 2006). Professor Holland is also responsible for bringing a feminist classic, The Queen is in the Garbage by Lila Karp to the attention of The Feminist Press for publication (2007). She is the author of The Erotic Life of Racism (Duke University Press, 2012), a theoretical project that explores the intersection of Critical Race, Feminist, and Queer Theory. You can see her work on food, writing and all things equestrian on her blog, http://theprofessorstable.wordpress.com//.

She is currently finishing her animal studies project, “hum.animal.blackness,” an investigation of the human/animal distinction and the place of discourse on blackness within that discussion. She is also at work on the final draft of another book project entitled simply, “little black girl.” The next book project grows out of her work in the field of black vernacular arts and stems from her essays on Ronald Lockett, Purvis Young, and Thomas Samuel Doyle.

Audra Simpson

Audra Simpson

Audra Simpson is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She researches and writes about Indigenous and settler society, politics and history. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014), winner of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association’s Best First Book in Native American and Indigenous Studies Prize, the Laura Romero Prize from the American Studies Association as well as the Sharon Stephens Prize from the American Ethnological Society (2015). She is co-editor of Theorizing Native Studies (Duke University Press, 2014). She has articles in Postcolonial Studies, Theory & Event, Cultural Anthropology, American Quarterly, Junctures, Law and Contemporary Problems and Wicazo Sa Review. In 2010 she won Columbia University’s School for General Studies “Excellence in Teaching Award.” She is a Kahnawake Mohawk.


Workshop Schedule

Friday, March 20
General parking located at Science Drive Garage
Located at Cameron Blvd (751) and Science Drive, entering off of Cameron Blvd.

1:00 pm           Registration Opens

2:00 pm           Opening Remarks: Jocelyn Olcott

2:30 pm           1st Keynote Speaker

4:00 pm           Break

4:30 pm           2nd Keynote Speaker

6:00 pm           Opening Reception

8:00 pm           Opening Reception Ends

Saturday, March 21

9:00 am           Registration Opens

10:00 am         3rd Keynote Speaker

11:30 am         Lunch

1:00 pm           4th Keynote Speaker

2:30 pm           Break

2:45 pm           Discussion Groups

4:45 pm           Break

5:00 pm           Closing Roundtable
Speakers information coming soon

6:15 pm           Closing Remarks: Jocelyn Olcott

6:30 pm           Workshop Ends


Penn Pavilion
March 20, 2020 to March 21, 2020
Duke University, Penn Pavilion
Live Stream
International Travel Awards

Learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply for an international travel award.

Pre-Conference Information


We've arranged a discounted rate and have on hold a block of rooms at the Cambria Hotel Durham - Near Duke University, Durham, NC. Please note rooms need to be booked by the cutoff date of Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 or they’ll be released to the general public. Reserve your room online or call the hotel directly. *See below for terms.

Below is the information you need to make your reservation.

Group Name: Feminist Theory Workshop
Group Code: EE16Z3
Check In: Thursday, Mar 19, 2020 (3:00 PM)
Check Out: Monday, Mar 23, 2020 (11:00 AM)
Cutoff Date: Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020
Group Billing Options: Guest is responsible for all charges.

Reserve Your Room Now

Cambria Hotel Durham - Near Duke University
2306 Elba Street,
Durham, NC, US, 27705
+1 (919) 286-3111

Property Info & Directions