Hypatia 34 (3):464-484 (2019)

In her book Antigone's Claim: Kinship between Life and Death, Judith Butler reads the figure of Antigone, who exists as an impossible aberration of kinship, as a challenge to the very terms of livability that are established by the reigning symbolic rules of Western thought. In this article I extend Butler's argument to reach beyond gender. I argue that African feminist scholarship shows that the kinship norms shaping the reigning symbolic rules of Western thought not only render certain gendered lives unlivable, but through the gendered working thereof also become key to the colonial process of the racial dehumanization of the colonized and the violent expansion of Eurocentric capitalism. I show how Oyèrónké Oyĕwùmí, in her work on the Yorùbá people of Nigeria, provides, in a way analogous to Antigone, a glimpse of an order structured by kinship formations that are remarkably different from, and thereby bring into crisis, the normative versions of kinship that are posited as timeless truths. Through a reimagining or reconstruction of precolonial Yorùbá kinship formations, Oyĕwùmí articulates a different scheme of intelligibility, which enables radically different ways of being human and existing in the world.
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12482
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References found in this work BETA

The Sexual Contract.Carole Pateman - 1990 - Ethics 100 (3):658-669.
Toward a Decolonial Feminism.Marìa Lugones - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):742-759.
The Phenomenology of Spirit.G. W. F. Hegel, H. C. Brockmeyer & W. T. Harris - 1868 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (3):165 - 171.

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