Unsung Hero: Mari Ruti

Mari Ruti is a professor of critical theory and of gender and sexuality studies. She is a contemporary critical theorist, heavily influenced by Jacques Lacan, interested in the relationships between critical theory and left politics. She explores many dichotomies including “autonomy versus subjection” and the complication of agency, which is central to her scholarship.

Suggested Readings:
The Ethics of Opting Out: Queer Theory’s Defiant Subjects – Book
Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect – Book
The Bad Habits of Critical Theory – Essay

To summarize/quote a lot of different research:
Ruti’s recent scholarship on feminist and queer theory (in “Feminist Film Theory and ‘Pretty Woman'” and “The Ethics of Opting Out”) investigates biopolitics; neoliberalism; postfeminism; new forms of heteropatriarchy;.. queer antinormativity; queer negativity/pessimism; queer utopianism/optimism;…the relationship between queer theory and affect theory; and ethical debates within queer theory”

Her earlier work addresses questions of subjectivity, relationality, psychic life, desire, affect, power, agency, autonomy, creativity, oppression, social change, and contemporary ethics.

Ruti’s more politically oriented scholarship, such as “Between Levinas and Lacan,” examines questions of social power, oppression, and agency; the impact of social inequalities and collective toxins on psychic and affective life. She is particularly interested in how subordinated individuals––individuals subjected to poverty, sexism, racism, homophobia, and various personal traumas––come to attain enough critical distance from their surroundings to be able to resist the collective forces that oppress them.

Check us out next week for your next unsung hero!

Jayanne Forrest