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Title: Themes of visibility in Rancière, Butler and Cavarero
Author: Huzar, Timothy
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 1153
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores themes of visibility in the work of Jacques Rancière, Judith Butler and Adriana Cavarero. It argues that visibility is important for each author: for Rancière the making visible of particular existents; for Butler the making visible of violences; and for Cavarero the making visible of another’s uniqueness. However, these commitments to visibility reach a limit when confronted with those who exist in indifference to visibility, for example, the fugitive politics of the enslaved as detailed by Saidiya Hartman. In these instances there is a danger that a fugitive politics is overlooked if visibility is one’s primary frame of analysis. This thesis is interdisciplinary, bringing each author into conversation with the others but not attempting to synthesise their thought into a whole, nor to resolve the tensions in their work by privileging one author over the others. Instead, and following Rancière, it reads each author for their aesthetic contribution to making sense of the world with the aim of identifying the forms of existence that are opened up in their work, but also those that are closed down. The first chapter identifies themes of visibility in Rancière’s account of politics, arguing that there is an ambivalence in Rancière’s politics but that in either case politics is linked to the making visible of forms of existence that are otherwise rendered insensitive. The second and third chapters identify themes of visibility in Butler’s account of violence, arguing that Butler’s reflections on violence’s visibility are overlooked in her consideration of nonviolence. The fourth and fifth chapters identify themes of visibility in Cavarero’s work, arguing that her insistence on making another’s uniqueness visible is made urgent because of scenes of violence. The sixth chapter argues that Butler and Cavarero’s work should be understood as an insurrectionary humanism centred on the paraontology of vulnerability. The seventh chapter reads Rancière, Butler and Cavarero in relation to Hannah Arendt, arguing that it is Arendt’s proximity to each author that enables a politics of fugitivity to become tangible in their work. The eighth chapter reads Rancière, Butler and Cavarero against Saidiya Hartman’s account of the Middle Passage, plantation slavery and its legacies to demonstrate the limits of their commitment to visibility and to further manifest a sense of a fugitive politics indifferent to visibility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Rancie`re ; Butler ; Cavarero ; visibility ; fugitivity ; politics ; violence