Gender Trouble, by Judith Butler, seems to be the book that started it all. Since my Freshman year at Bowdoin, the name Judith Butler and the concept of performativity have appeared with a surprising frequency in academic discussions–it seems as if her work can be factored into anything from music theory to communication and media studies. During my year abroad in Amsterdam, I actually had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Butler at the University and, though most of it was far too philosophically advanced for me to comprehend, the lecture piqued my interest in Butler even further. Now, as I enter into my Senior year at Bowdoin, I’ve finally begun to read what is probably Butler’s most famous work. What seems most important about the text is Butler’s theory of performativity and its connection to the formation of an individual’s identity. A critic of the critics, Butler engages the work of Lacan, Freud, Irigaray, and Beauvoir, among many others to give an account of how a contemporary human identity is formed and, particularly, what place gender, sex, and sexuality have in the formation of one’s identity.