Anti-Apocalypse

Anti-Apocalypse: Exercises in Genealogical Criticism

LEE QUINBY
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 240
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttd5h
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  • Book Info
    Anti-Apocalypse
    Book Description:

    Drawing on feminist and Foucauldian theory, Quinby offers a powerful critique of the millenarian rhetoric that pervades American culture. Tracing the deployment of power through systems of alliance, sexuality, and technology, the author promotes a variety of critical stances-genealogical feminism, an ethics of the flesh, and “pissed criticism”-as challenges to apocalyptic claims for absolute truth and universal morality.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8520-2
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction: Apocalyptic Fits
    (pp. xi-xxviii)

    U.S. society suffers from apocalyptic fits of two different kinds. First, there is the ready-made fit of an apocalyptic regime of truth that is dominant in the United States today. That is, the truth that has been made to prevail in the United States through a vast array of power relations is one that follows an apocalyptic grammar, semantics, and logic.² Conformity to apocalyptic truth is what brings on the second kind of fit, signaled by convulsions of fear and anxiety and paroxysms of hope for a new beginning. When Francis Fukuyama sights the end of history with the arrival...

  5. Part I. Genealogy Now

    • Chapter 1 Eu(jean)ics: The New Fashion in Power
      (pp. 3-30)

      In the “always already” of postmodernism was Implosion. For the gods had said, let there be simulation.

      And there was simulation. And the gods saw the simulation, that it was infinitely reiterable and so multiplied simulation upon simulation.

      Sublime images moved upon the faces of media screens and computer monitors across the universe, spiraling into a precession of simulacra.

      And the saturated relations of causality turned in on themselves.

      And the gods said, Behold the Hyperreal.

      And the gods said, let there be switching centers of Hyperreality. And Hyperspace came to pass. Mirrored images of passers-by merged with their materiality....

    • Chapter 2 Genealogical Feminism: A Politic Way of Looking
      (pp. 31-52)

      This chapter reflects on feminists pursuing coalition both with each other and with other radical activists. In terms of practical politics, coalition is one of the most crucial means for combating male-dominant power relations and the apocalyptic logic that serves as an apologia for male dominance. Yet an ever-increasing diversity of feminist practices raises doubts about the viability of coalitions among feminists who are philosophically distinct and sometimes opposed. A catalogue of feminist practices of the last two decades would include entries for black, cultural, deconstructive, ecological, lesbian, liberal, materialist, psychoanalytic, semiotic, socialist, and third-world feminisms, and no doubt others...

    • Chapter 3 Philosophy Today: Not-for-Prophet Thought
      (pp. 53-74)

      Genealogy is to philosophy what prophecy is to apocalypse; that is, genealogical analysis is an enabling act for philosophy.² But unlike prophetic discourse, which reveals to people what they will do and should do, genealogy seeks to provide means for people to say what they have done and are doing. This fostering of local histories allows critical examination of how actions and events accord with norms of the day or clash with them. By showing not only how truths emerge from specific sites of power relations but also how those relations of power are embodied, genealogical inquiry is a prying...

  6. Part II. The Re-Creations and Recreations of Adam and Eve:: Reading Modernist Texts in Postmodern Contexts

    • Chapter 4 Conceiving the New Man: Henry Adams and the Birth of Ironic Apocalypse
      (pp. 77-96)

      Henry Adams’s life spanned the decades of the first wave of the women’s rights movement, from its emergence in the 1830s through the legal and social gains of the late nineteenth century to the threshold of women’s suffrage. But Adams was not a supporter of these gains for women. He disparaged women’s struggles for equality as imitative of men’s proclivity to settle for less. Adams argued that women were a superior force, capable of transcending the mundane and often corrupt goings-on of the political arena. Above all, he was puzzled at women’s willingness to relinquish what he assessed as their...

    • Chapter 5 “Woman Got de Key”: Zora Neale Hurston and Resistance to Apocalypse
      (pp. 97-112)

      I grew up five miles away from where Zora Neale Hurston grew up. In those pre-Disney World years, the landscape between Orlando and Eatonville, Florida, yielded little acknowledgment of geographic boundary difference. The starkly flat stretch of land leaves anyone outdoors vulnerable to the scorching sun. But it’s also sprinkled with tiny lakes that give off a little coolness, and you can get relief from the heat under the large oak trees draped with Spanish moss. So a traveler would be hard put to distinguish where Orlando leaves off and Eatonville begins. Yet that five miles might as well have...

  7. Part III. A Book of Revelry:: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

    • Chapter 6 Urination and Civilization: Practicing Pissed Criticism
      (pp. 115-134)

      Warmly transparent, luminously glowing, like wet sunlight. I’ve always loved the look of urine. So when Congress legislated cuts in funding to punish the NEA for exhibiting Andres Serrano’sPiss Christ, I got really pissed off. Granted, it wasn’t simply the urine that put their wrath in motion; it was Serrano’s depiction of a crucifix in urine. But I found this satisfying, too. Critiques of Christianity are hard to come by in the United States. The heat directed at Sinead O’Connor’s papal protest is a sign of how rarely criticism of Christianity has a public forum. When such critiques are...

    • Chapter 7 Resistance on the Home Front: Re(con)figuring Home Space as a Practice of Freedom
      (pp. 135-154)

      The problem of combating hierarchical and oppressive social relations is intrinsically and intricately linked to altering the space in which people live, work, play, and die. The practice of freedom thus calls into question relations of power and space, or power/space, as well as relations of power/knowledge. Thus far, my discussion of apocalyptic thought has primarily been cast in temporal terms: as an evolution (or devolution) toward the end of history. It would be a mistake, however, to ignore the spatial dimensions of apocalypticism: the total transformation of the world from profane earth to sacred Home. The term “world” is...

  8. Coda: On Waco: A Monday Morning Wake-Up Call
    (pp. 155-162)

    Writing this Coda in the weeks after the destruction of the compound in Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993, I am struck by the way that public fascination with David Koresh and the Branch Davidians quickly soared and then almost as suddenly dropped off, not once, but twice. In the first few weeks after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms raided the compound, the media filled its airtime with long-distance shots of the buildings huddled together in an expanse of Texas prairie land, interspersing the stillness of that image with footage of a Bible-wielding Koresh vociferously preaching to mesmerized...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 163-186)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 187-196)
  11. Index
    (pp. 197-208)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 209-209)