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 received her PhD in Philosophy from Yale University in 1984. Butler served as founding director of the Critical Theory Program at UC Berkeley, served as department chair of the Department of Rhetoric in 1998–2003 and 2006–7, and the acting chair of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, 2002–3. She also served as the Chair of the Board of the University of California Humanities Research Center in Irvine. She has served on the Executive Council of the Modern Languages Association and chaired its committee on Academic Freedom. She is currently the principal investigator of a four-year grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation to develop an International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs and is also affiliated with the Psychosocial MA Program at Birkbeck College in London and the European Graduate School in Sass Fee, Switzerland.
Butler is active in several human rights organizations, currently serving on the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York and the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace. She was the recipient of several award: Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities (2009–13); Adorno Prize from the City of Frankfurt (2012); Brudner Prize from Yale University for lifetime achievement in gay and lesbian studies; and the Albertus Magnus Professorship from the City of Cologne, Germany (2016). She has given the Wellek Lectures at Irvine, the Carpenter Lectures at the University of Chicago, the Watts Lecture at the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, the Gauss Lectures at Princeton, the Messenger Lectures at Cornell, the Tanner Lectures at Yale University, and the annual Freud Lecture at the Freud Museum in Vienna. She has received nine honorary degrees and was elected as a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society.
Butler is the author of several books including her latest, Senses of the Subject and Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015). In 2016 she coedited Vulnerability in Resistance, with Duke University Press. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.