Deleuze and Queer Theory

Deleuze and Queer Theory

Chrysanthi Nigianni
Merl Storr
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Deleuze and Queer Theory
    Book Description:

    This exciting collection of work introduces a major shift in debates on sexuality: a shift away from discourse, identity and signification, to a radical new conception of bodily materialism. Moving away from the established path known as queer theory, it_x000B_suggests an alternative to Butler's matter/representation binary. It thus dares to ask_x000B_how to think sexuality and sex outside the discursive and linguistic context that has_x000B_come to dominate contemporary research in social sciences and humanities._x000B_Deleuze and Queer Theory is a provocative and often militant collection that explores a diverse range of themes including: the revisiting of the term 'queer'; a rethinking of the sex-gender distinction as being implied in Queer Theory; an exploration of queer temporalities; the non/re-reading of the homosexual body/desire and the becoming-queer of the Deleuze/Guattari philosophy. It will be essential reading for anyone interested not just in Deleuze's and Guattari's philosophy, but also in the fields of sexuality, gender and feminist theory.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3406-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    You ask me: why bring all these texts together in this book? Why ‘Deleuze and Queer Theory’? What does this and mean? You wonder whether it might be the expression of an opposition that will lead to a battle, a combat; a war that will announce winners and dark horses, will declare the past dead and will celebrate a new future. Or maybe, it is a hope for juxtaposition and collaboration based on resonances, or differences. An attempt for reconciliation through the annihilation of the differential parties perhaps?

    And as the middle space, the borderline that separates but also brings...

  4. Chapter 1 On the Very Possibility of Queer Theory
    (pp. 11-23)
    Claire Colebrook

    Is queer theory a reflection on what it means to be queer, or does the concept of queerness change the ways in which we theorise? On the one hand the concept of theory appears to be inextricably intertwined with the concept of the human: man is that rational animal possessed of a soul capable of intuiting the essential, or what truly is (Irwin 1988). On the other hand, the possibility of a true theory – a thinking without a normative image of thought – seems to be opened only after the death of God and the death of ‘man’ (Deleuze...

  5. Chapter 2 Thirty-six Thousand Forms of Love: The Queering of Deleuze and Guattari
    (pp. 24-36)
    Verena Andermatt Conley

    American critics often credit themselves for having invented queer theory. It can be argued, however, that French theorists’ rethinking of official philosophy and psychoanalysis after 1968 dealt extensively not only with feminisms but with homosexualities. Much of Michel Foucault’s work, but also Hélène Cixous’s notions of bisexuality and of homo sexuality (Cixous 1975), or Jacques Derrida’s various staging of male couples – Derrida-Genet or Socrates-Plato (Derrida 1974 and 1980) – explored the destabilisation of a self and of what today are called ‘non-normative sexualities’. It is, however, especially in the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari that the question...

  6. Chapter 3 The Sexed Subject in-between Deleuze and Butler
    (pp. 37-53)
    Anna Hickey-Moody and Mary Lou Rasmussen

    The ‘set of rules’ to which Butler refers in the latter quote above are the same structures that make up the ‘senselessly privileged’ psychoanalytic subject which Deleuze and Guattari urge their readers to move beyond (Deleuze and Guattari 1983: 298). Deleuze and Guattari critique the ways in which capitalism axiomatises¹ the psychoanalytic subject. Psychoanalysis sutures myth to capitalism and subjectivity, heterosexuality to family and sociability. Psychoanalysis co-constructs homo-sexuality and madness, neither of which offer any escape from the psychoanalytic theatrical stage of capitalism. Rather, homosexuality and madness are co-constitutive of the neurotic, psychoanalytic pole of capitalism. As such, homosexuality and...

  7. Chapter 4 Every ‘One’ – a Crowd, Making Room for the Excluded Middle
    (pp. 54-71)
    Dorothea Olkowski

    Physicist and philosopher Karen Barad has given us an account of an amazing sea creature, the Brittlestar, an invertebrate related to starfish, a creature that has no eyes, but is all eyes. The approximately ten thousand spherically domed calcite crystals covering the five limbs and central body of the Brittlestar function as microlenses that collect and focus light directly onto nerve bundles which are part of the Brittlestar’s diffuse nervous system, giving it compound-eye capability (Barad in press). The Brittlestar’s microlenses are optimised to maximise visual acuity enabling them to discern predators or discover hiding places. However, all of this...

  8. Chapter 5 The Adventures of a Sex
    (pp. 72-91)
    Luciana Parisi

    In queer theory the question of what is sex has been rethought in terms of the biological plasticity of the body as evidenced, for example, by hormone and genetic ambivalences neutralising the distinction between masculinity and femininity, female and male, leading to a notion of fundamental queerness of all sexes. The importance of such a notion lays in its indirect suggestion that sex, as the natural source of (culturally constructed) gender, does not coincide with the immutable fixed order of nature. On the other hand, however, a more explicitly political tendency in queer theory has reshaped the indirect claim for...

  9. Chapter 6 Queer Hybridity
    (pp. 92-114)
    Mikko Tuhkanen

    Queer theory had a good year in 1987. Three texts of major import for queer thinking were published. Leo Bersani’s work took an explicitly queer turn in ‘Is the Rectum a Grave?,’ an essay that rendered the arguments Bersani had formulated during his long career as a literary theorist, beginning from the mid-1960s, relevant to queer thinking energised by the violently phobic reactions to the AIDS crisis. The same year, Judith Butler published her re-worked dissertation, Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France, in which she brilliantly recuperated Hegel’s philosophy from the collective dismissal by its numerous critics. Subjects...

  10. Chapter 7 Prosthetic Performativity: Deleuzian Connections and Queer Corporealities
    (pp. 115-133)
    Margrit Shildrick

    What could be more seductive – to a collectivity of binary breaking neomaterialist academics – than a book organised, to quote the editors, around minoritarian thinking/practices, a (con)text that promises to interpose DeleuzoGuattarian theory with queer becomings to enhance the productivity of both? Of course I shall join the project: I read and respect the work of my co-authors, regret missing the originating conference, and welcome the opportunity to explore my own emerging lines of flight. And yet . . . perhaps I have understood the proposal all the wrong way round. I do indeed work extensively in the field of...

  11. Chapter 8 Unnatural Alliances
    (pp. 134-149)
    Patricia MacCormack

    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari use as a key example of becomings becoming-animal. Becoming-animal involves both a repudiation of the individual for the multiple and the human as the zenith of evolution for a traversal or involution across the speciesist plane of consistency. Deleuze and Guattari delineate the Oedipal animal, the pack animal and the demonic hybridisation of animal, human and imperceptible becomings. Various commentators have critiqued and celebrated Deleuze and Guattari’s call to becoming-woman. In his taxonomy of living things Aristotle places women at the intersection of animal and human, so becoming-animal as interstices raises urgent feminist issues as...

  12. Chapter 9 Schreber and the Penetrated Male
    (pp. 150-167)
    Jonathan Kemp

    The critical energy with which queer theory interrogates and refuses stable categories of being and knowledge finds its analogue in the resistance to totalitising notions of ‘truth’ and ‘the human’ to be found in all Deleuze’s work. In this paper I aim to explore how Deleuze’s critical energy and concepts can be marshalled into challenging the totalising notions of ‘masculinity’ and ‘the body’. I will present a reading of the Schreber case as a DeleuzoGuattarian becoming-minoritarian/woman/ queer which shatters the neat and stable confines of the concept ‘man’ – no longer a universal, unmarked and neutral monolith but a flux...

  13. Chapter 10 Butterfly Kiss: The Contagious Kiss of Becoming-Lesbian
    (pp. 168-182)
    Chrysanthi Nigianni

    This essay will attempt to conduct a twofold experiment: on the one hand, it will attempt to make the shift from a psychoanalytic thinking about lesbianism as identity corresponding to a certain psycho-social mode of ‘being a lesbian’, to a schizoanalytic thinking that conceives of it as a becoming-lesbian, a schizophrenic process that constitutes ‘a rupture, an eruption, a break-through which smashes the continuity of personality and takes it on a kind of trip through “more reality” ’ (Deleuze 2006: 27). The essay will thus argue for a ‘schizophrenic’ lesbian desire not in its clinical but in its critical meaning:...

  14. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 183-186)
  15. Index
    (pp. 187-194)