Judith Butler (b. 1956-) is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University in 1984. Her interest in philosophy stems from her Jewish upbringing and the questions it raised concerning ethics and human life in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Her first major publication was a study of Hegel in contemporary French philosophy entitled Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (1987). After this her work became more focused on ethics, power, and identity, especially gendered identity. Butler is one of the most important feminist and political philosophers of her generation.