Thursday 10/29/20 7PM

Visionaries Series: Claudia Rankine in Conversation with Judith Butler

Cover Image:

[Left] Claudia Rankine, Image source: Blue Flower Arts; [Right] Judith Butler, Image source: University of California, Berkeley

The New Museum will feature Claudia Rankine in conversation with Judith Butler for the 2020 Visionaries program. The Stuart Regen Visionaries Series is an annual program honoring individuals who have made major contributions to art and culture and who are actively imagining a better future.

A recording of this program is available here.

Accessibility Information:
This event will be live captioned.

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including The White Card, which premiered in February 2018 (ArtsEmerson/ American Repertory Theater) was published with Graywolf Press in 2019, and Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; as well as numerous video collaborations. In all of her work, whether writing about intimacy or alienation, Rankine’s voice is one of unrelenting candor, and her poetry is some of the most innovative and thoughtful work to emerge in recent years. Her work often crosses genres as it tracks wild and precise movements of mind. Her most recent publication, Just Us: An American Conversation (2020), is a collection of essays with Graywolf Press. She is also the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. In 2016, she co-founded The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII). Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, the Poets & Writers’ Jackson Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, United States Artists, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Yale University as the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Judith Butler is a philosopher, literary critic, and gender theorist, active in gender and sexual politics and human rights, and anti-war politics. They are the Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. They are the author of many influential texts, including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex” (1993), Undoing Gender (2004), Precarious Life (2003), Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015), and The Force of Nonviolence (2020). Their books have been translated in 27 languages. Butler is the recipient of many awards and international distinctions, including the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009-13), the Adorno Prize (2012) the Brudner Prize and the Research Lecturer honor at UC Berkeley in 2005. Other fellowships include Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Ford, American Council of Learned Societies, and selection as a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at the College des Hautes Etudes in Paris. They have received 11 honorary degrees. In 2013, they were awarded the diploma of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Cultural Ministry. In 2015 they were elected as a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and in 2019 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are presently the President of the Modern Language Association.

Previous Visionary honorees include author Rachel Kushner (2018, in conversation with novelist Ben Lerner); explorer Erling Kagge (2017); essayist and critic Fran Lebowitz (2016, in conversation with filmmaker Martin Scorsese); critic and author Hilton Als (2015); Academy Award–nominated director, screenwriter, and producer Darren Aronofsky (2014, in conversation with novelist and critic Lynne Tillman); writer, director, and producer of Mad Men Matthew Weiner (2013, in conversation with writer A.M. Homes); artist and architect Maya Lin (2012); chef, author, activist, and proprietor of Chez Panisse Restaurant & Café Alice Waters (2011); founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales (2010); and legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones (2009), whose talk inaugurated this signature program.


The Visionaries Series at the New Museum honors special individuals who have made major contributions to art and culture, and are actively imagining a better future. The series is made possible by the Stuart Regen Visionaries Fund, established by a gift from Barbara Gladstone in honor of her son Stuart Regen.

Additional support for the Visionaries Series is provided by the Charlotte and Bill Ford Artist Talks Fund.

New Museum Digital Initiatives are generously supported by Hermine and David B. Heller.

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