Using Judith Butler to Queer(y) Educational Leadership

  • Richard Niesche
  • Christina Gowlett
Part of the Educational Leadership Theory book series (ELT)


This chapter examines the work of Judith Butler. In this chapter we attempt to unpack the key ideas in Butler’s work. Butler’s work is dense, so the aim of this chapter is to make her ideas as accessible as possible. We explore Butler’s concepts of intelligibility, performativity, causal reversal and performative resignification. All of these concepts speak back to long held notions about ‘truth’, ‘identity’ formation and agency. Throughout the chapter, prompting questions are asked and potential links with educational leadership are made. This culminates in an extended example at the end of the chapter showing how Butler may be used within the educational leadership space.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Niesche
    • 1
  • Christina Gowlett
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.School of EducationThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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